Elliot

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Elliot

By Julie Pearson
Illustrated by Manon Gauthier
Picture Book Ages 5–8
ISBN: 978-1-927485-85-9
List Price: $18.95 CAD / $16.95 USD
Hardcover with dust jacket
Trim Size: 22.86 x 22.86 cm / 9 x 9 in
Pages: 32

Canadian Publication Date: March 4, 2016
U.S. Publication Date: April 4, 2016

Distributed in the U.S. by Ingram Publisher Services

A gentle, warmhearted story of one child’s journey through the foster care system in search of a “forever, forever” home

Elliot’s parents love him very much, but all is not well. When he cries, they do not understand why. When he yells, they do not know what to do. When he misbehaves, they do not know how to react. One day a social worker named Thomas comes to visit, and Elliot’s world turns upside-down.

Manon Gauthier’s soft collage illustrations feature approachable rabbit characters, while Julie Pearson‘s soothing, repetitive text guides Elliot gently through the foster child system. The new families that care for the little boy are kind, but everything is strange and new, and the sudden changes make him want to cry and yell AND misbehave. Then, when it becomes clear that Elliot’s parents will never be able to take him back, Thomas sets out to find Elliot one last home—a forever, forever home with a family that will love and care for him no matter what.

Reviews:

“Elliot, an anthropomorphized bunny, is just a regular kid. His parents love him very much, but they don’t know how to take care of him. A man named Thomas comes to help, and he takes Elliot to a foster family where everything is different. His new environment is jarring, but Elliot soon feels understood and cared adopted into a family that will take care of him forever. Fostering is a difficult topic, but Pearson addresses it in a gentle, age-appropriate manner free of blame. Her direct lines keep the focus solidly on Elliot’s emotional reactions, and repetition reinforces a reassuring undercurrent of familiarity in each new home. Gauthier’s collage illustrations, in muted tones and childlike shapes, effectively dampen the realism of the potentially scary scenarios in the story and keep the mood somber but hopeful. Though it might not be representative of every fostering experience, this sensitive story nevertheless could be a comfort to children in the foster system.”—Booklist

“Gauthier’s…drawings are simple but poignantly depict the range of emotions Elliot experiences. The muted colors also help reinforce the low-key, reassuring message. Pearson handles this delicate subject with an understandable, sensitive, and sympathetic text. Recommended for libraries seeking books to help young children understand that birth parents sometimes do not know how to care for them and that other caregivers must enter their lives.”—School Library Journal

“Pearson’s refusal to sugarcoat [Elliot’s] journey should resonate with children in similar situations.”—Publishers Weekly

“[Elliot] provides a gentle, caring way of introducing the concepts of finding a forever home which is loving and nurturing and inclusive for children when their own family cannot cope… This is an excellent teaching tool for classroom discussion about families and relationships. It is also a wonderful book to provide comfort, hope and assistance in adapting to a foster family situation for children in that process. Highly recommended.”—Resource Links

“The book tackles a complex issue in an approachable and kid-friendly way with adorable bunny characters and soft collage illustrations. It’s a must-read.”—Today’s Parent

“A simple yet powerful tale of hope, love, and belonging, Elliot tugs on the heartstrings and leaves readers with a heightened appreciation of the courage and resiliency of foster children and their families. Highly Recommended.”—CM Magazine

“There are very few picture books that I want to clutch a little tighter and hold onto in my heart a little longer.  Elliot is one that has touched me so.”—CanLit for LittleCanadians

“This book is so very important… Honest and vital, this picture book fills a huge gap in children’s books with its depiction of the foster system for small children. Appropriate for ages 3-5.” — Tasha Saecker, Waking Brain Cells

 

Awards and Honours:
Winner of the 2015 Prix du livre jeunesse des Bibliothèques de Montréal (French edition, éditions les 400 coups, 2014)