Posted on February 13th, 2017 by pajamapress
“Not all children are born into families where their needs can be met. There are many reasons for that. Perhaps the parents are too young, too inexperienced, incapable of providing the monetary support needed to help a child grow and flourish. Whatever the reason, there are times when children must be placed in foster care to ensure their growth and well-being….Honest and heartfelt, this book about foster parenting and adoption is a needed addition to any collection. Told in clear prose, with cut paper collage art done in quiet tones, it reflects the experiences of many children. I have not read another picture book dealing with the foster care system.”
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Posted on February 17th, 2016 by pajamapress
Elliot– a young rabbit with a tendency to cry, yell, and misbehave– moves between several homes in this story of adoption, foster care, and finding a “forever family.” Debut author Pearson never blames Elliot for his behavior (it’s unclear if he’s meant to have a developmental disorder), instead focusing on his parents’ inability to understand their son. After Elliot’s parents seek help, he is sent to live temporarily with an unfamiliar but loving family. Elliot later returns to his parents, but this proves short-lived; following a stint with a second foster family, Elliot is told that his parents could never take care of him, because they did not know how. A muted palette of gray, blue, and manila reflects the somber, uncertain mood, and Gauthier’s (“Magic Little Words”) naif-styled rabbits resemble cutout paper dolls dropped into the scenes, suggestive of the way Elliot is shuttled around. Elliot eventually finds a family that understands him, and while the book’s somewhat oblique language may require supplemental explanation from adult readers, Pearson’s refusal to sugarcoat his journey should resonate with children in similar situations.—Publishers Weekly
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Posted on January 19th, 2016 by pajamapress
“…The illustrations in Elliot are beautifully designed using a simple collage format and soft neutral tones. Gauthier’s pencil lines and detailed sketching are clearly visible throughout, adding a delightfully innocent and child-like feel to the book. The text flows effortlessly from beginning to end and offers repetitive passages which young children will unquestionably enjoy reciting aloud…
Since relatively few picture books currently exist that offer an intimate glimpse into the foster child system, Elliot is a much welcomed and necessary literary contribution. Children who have undergone experiences similar to those of Elliot will undoubtedly enjoy having a story and character that they can easily identify with. This book would be a valuable contribution to any primary classroom, particularly those including students who reside in foster homes. 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.
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