Callum Kindly And The Very Weird Child – Book Review

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From the Cover of Callum Kindly And The Very Weird Child by Sarah Naish and Rosie Jefferies:

“Callum Kindly is a kind and caring boy who lives alone with his mum. That is, until Katie Careful comes to stay with them. Callum thinks Katie is a very weird child!

Katie manages to get in the way whenever Callum wants to speak to his mum or have snuggle time. She cries and sulks on his birthday and she steal his toy car. Luckily, hi mum can explain to him how Katie’s difficulties when she was growing up means she acts differently now.”

Grade:

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Transfiguring Adoption awarded this book 4 Hoots out of 5 based on how useful it will be for a foster/adoptive family. [Learn more about our Hoot grading system here]

What Our Family Thought:

The target audience for this book appears to be for foster families and written for kids ages 3- 10. While many tales from this series are told from the point of view of a foster child, this story is told from the point of view of a biological child welcoming a foster child into the family. Thus, this book appears to be a good fit for families with children who will be experiencing the changes and challenges that go along with welcoming a new foster child into the home. We appreciated that the family portrayed is a culturally mixed family unit with a single mother of color, her biological son, and a young caucasian foster daughter.

The illustrations in this book are adequate for communicating the concepts and ideas – the book notes that the illustrations have been deliberately left simple to help children focus on the story. The pictures should keep your child engaged throughout the story.

As was mentioned above the tale centers on the life of Callum Kindly as he experiences challenges and changes to his single parent home when the family welcomes a foster daughter. The story will be very true to the emotions and events of many children as Callum’s excitement for welcoming a child quickly turns to frustration. Callum experiences a prized toy being taken without permission and broken. Callum also seems unable to get personal time with his mother as the new foster daughter doesn’t seem to allow him to spend time alone with mom.

Transfiguring Adoption appreciates that this book, as the others in the series, contains a message to parents at the end of the book. The message effectively and simply teaching you, the caregiver, how the story illustrates various needs and emotions in the story. More importantly you are told how to significantly impact your biological, foster and/or adoptive child’s life in situations similar to the story.

Transfiguring Adoption overall finds this book very applicable and fun for a foster or adoptive family. It will surely create an atmosphere where your children can talk about their emotions and thoughts effectively with you, the parent.

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It’s Your Turn:

  1. Why do you think Callum wanted to help a foster child?
  2. Why do you think Katie took Callum’s new birthday present?
  3. Why do you think Katie broke Callum’s car?
  4. What do you think makes Callum feel better in the story?
  5. Are you ever angry or sad toward a new child in the home? When?

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I’d Know You Anywhere My Love – Book Review

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From the Cover of I’d Know You Anywhere My Love by Nancy Tillman:

“Every child is special and unique, but… children also love to dream of being something different. Taking flight, running fast, roaring loudly – there are no limits to children’s imaginations. And no matter where their dreams take them, we are always there, every step of the way.

Bestselling author and artist Nancy Tillman has once again created a book that celebrates the comfort of always, always knowing that you are loved – no matter what you might decide to be.”

Grade:

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Transfiguring Adoption awarded this book 4 Hoots out of 5 based on how useful it will be for a foster/adoptive family. [Learn more about our Hoot grading system here]

What Our Family Thought:

This book appears to have been written for the general public and was not necessarily created with foster or adoptive parents in mind. The book seems to be well-suited for children from ages 3-10 or preschool through upper elementary school – due to the heavy attention to images this book would seem to do best on the lower end of the age range we have suggested. Foster and adoptive parents are going to be interested in this book as the theme deals with communicating with children about how special and unique they are to a parent or caregiver.

The illustrations in this book are done in realistic fashion which appears to be paint or ink like. The images are vibrant and compositions themselves tend to have a good fluid motion to allow you child to stay engaged with the story. There is more often than not an animal which is staring straight at the reader from the turn of a page – this eye contact seems to assist in capturing the attention of children.

This tale seems to revolve around the theme of discussing the unique and special person and character of your own child. At the beginning of the book a woman (possibly the mother) begins to relate to a child how she would know the child if they were in a pretend animal form due to the special qualities/traits the child possesses.

This book may have been written with a typical birth family in mind but the book is vague with relaying the identity of the speaker of the book that it could easily relate to a foster or adoptive family. The story is has a rhythmic flow when reading which makes it fun and easy to read to a child. There is little text on each page and the story reads quickly so this seems to be a great book for a quick bedtime story.

Overall, Transfiguring Adoption finds that while this book was not directly created foster or adoptive families, it does a great job of creating an atmosphere where caregivers can tell children they are special and convey what this looks like.


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It’s Your Turn:

  1. Would you like to be a snowy white owl? Why?
    Can you say,” Whoo. Whoo?”
  2. How does a bear nose look?
  3. Does your nose look like a bear cub’s nose?
  4. What do you think the blue-footed booby bird’s happy dance look like?
  5. What does your happy dance look like?
  6. Do your mom and/or dad think you’re special? How do you know?

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William Wobbly and the Mysterious Holey Jumper

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From the Cover of William Wobbly and the Mysterious Holey Jumper by Sarah Naish and Rosie Jefferies:

“William Wobbly is having lots of wobbly feelings one morning, but his mum is too busy to notice.
William Wobbly’s worries worsen when he notices changes at school. ‘Where’s my real teacher?!’ he wonders. He hides under his desk and he chews holes into his jumper, but even that doesn’t take the wobbly feelings away. Luckily, his mum is there to help him cope when he’s afraid.”

Grade:

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Transfiguring Adoption awarded this book 4 Hoots out of 5 based on how useful it will be for a foster/adoptive family. [Learn more about our Hoot grading system here]

What Our Family Thought:

The target audience for this book appears to be for foster or adoptive families. The book also appears to be written for kids ages 3- 10 and directly deals with the topic of anxiety which could quickly come over a child from a traumatic background.

The illustrations in this book are adequate for communicating the concepts and ideas – the book notes that the illustrations have been deliberately left simple to help children focus on the story. The pictures should keep your child engaged throughout the story.

This story is the second tale the authors have created with this boy being the main character [find the other story here]. As in the first book this story involves William Wobbly, a boy who seems to be quickly overwhelmed by sensory input and strange surroundings.

The second tale seems to center around activities happening as William gets ready for and attends school. William’s day seems to be very busy and his anxious feelings begin to build throughout the day until he hides from the teacher at school.

This story seems to include a true picture of the typical day in the life of a foster or adoptive kiddo. The building of William’s anxiety also seems to be true to life and an issue that other children will be able to relate to. The story also relates various coping techniques which the adoptive mom employees to help William and can be used by caregivers in real life. It is noted also that there is a short message to caregivers in the back of the book to help them grow and become better at meeting children where they are at.

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It’s Your Turn:

  1. What made the wobbly feeling get bigger for William?
  2. Why was he nervous about his teacher?
  3. How did his mum make him feel better?
  4. Some noises make William feel wobbly and nervous. What kinds of noises make you feel wobbly?
  5. How does your mum or dad make you feel safe/better?

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