Boo Who? – Book Review

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From the Cover of Boo Who? by Ben Clanton:

“Boo is new — and it can be scary being new, especially for a shy ghost who can’t play any of the other kids’ games. Can Boo find a way to fit in and make friends with the rest of the group?

From the creator of Rex Wrecks It! comes a story about feeling invisible — and finding a way to be seen and appreciated for who you are.”


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 the general public – specifically children in elementary school or approximately 4 to 10 years of age. Transfiguring Adoption was interested in this book as not only does it provide a fun tale that one might read around Halloween but it discusses feelings a child might have when they are the new student at a school. Naturally, being the new student at school is a common situation amongst foster and/or adoptive children.

The illustrations in the book seem to be very imaginative and animated. The colorful drawings have strong lines and a stylistic 2-D quality. The characters represented in the images are not human but imaginary characters of various sizes, colors, and genders which make this a good book for families with multiple races. The images do well to move the emotions and feelings of the story and seem to appeal to the lower age demographic which we mentioned above.

The story centers around a little ghost named Boo who is new to an area. The images suggest the characters are on a school playground but we are never told if Boo is new to a whole city or area or is Boo simply attending a new school – this generality makes the tale applicable to more children. Boo is having to deal with his insecurities and fears of making new friends and trying to fit in.

The story portrays the other characters in the book as being friendly and actually wanting to include Boo in their group. The tale proceeds to show how the characters interact with each other attempting to help Boo to fit in with their group.

While this book does not directly speak to foster or adoptive families, it would appear to be a great tale to generate healthy conversations about beginning a new school with a younger child. Transfiguring Adoption appreciates that this story’s plot circles around the issue of helping Boo to deal with his insecurities instead of creating an opposing character who acts as a bully or angry character. This will help caregivers focus their attention talking about a child’s fears and enforce the idea that other children at school will most likely be kind and friendly people.

Overall, Boo Who? seems to be a delightful tale which might be a quick read with your child but will provide long-lasting and healthy conversations with your child.


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It’s Your Turn:

  1. How can you see that the other children were friendly?
  2. Why was Boo scared? Why is being new scary?
  3. Which game was Boo the best at?
  4. Were all the kids good at all the games?
  5. What would you feel like if you were new?
  6. What good questions to ask people when you’re meeting someone new?

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What Do You Do With A Problem? – Book Review

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From the Cover of What Do You Do With A Problem? by Kobi Yamada:

“What do you do with a problem? Especially one that follows you around and doesn’t seem to be going away?

Do you worry about it? Ignore it? Do you run and hide from it?

This is the story of a persistent problem and the child who isn’t so sure what to make of it. The longer the problem is avoided, the bigger it seems to get. But when the child finally musters up the courage to face it, the problem turns out to be something quite different than expected.

This is a story for anyone, at any age, who has ever had a problem that they wished would go away. It’s a story to inspire you to look closely at that problem and to find out why it’s here. Because you might discover something amazing about your problem… and yourself.”


Grade:

5 hoots out of 5

Transfiguring Adoption awarded this book 5 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 the general public. This tale seems to appeal ideally to children from ages 5 to approximately 10 years old or elementary/primary school. However, as the cover suggests, even adults who have struggled with a problem can relate and glean from this story. The theme of coping and handling a problem is significant to foster and adoptive families as children from traumatic places may not have had a stable adult figure in their life to model how to cope with issues or problems.

The illustrations in this book appear to be a combination of watercolor and pencil in a full array of colors. In fact the illustrator utilizes the color palette in the story to emphasize the various moods and struggles as well as the time of creativity and triumph throughout the tale. The illustrations seem to superbly carry the feelings and tone of the story as the reader works their way through the reading. The pictures are an excellent addition to the written content and will help to keep your child engaged.

The story seems to center on a young child who is recounting a time when a problem came into their life. The problem is illustrated by a dark storm cloud-like object which is personified and grows throughout the story.

Families are going to be able to quickly and easily identify various feelings and escape strategies the young child connects with the problem. The book also seems to easily allow families to see the cause and effect issues that come along with handling a problem in an unhealthy manner as well as a healthy manner.

While Transfiguring Adoption feels this book is an excellent resource for beginning a conversation about handling problems, caregivers should give careful thought as to the issue(s) they speak about with their child through this book. Caregivers should know their child and know if their child is ready to speak about past traumatic issues. In any case this book is very pertinent for beginning a healthy conversation with your child about handling issues such as: anxiety over a test at school, dealing with bullying, etc.

Transfiguring Adoption believes this wonderful tale has the ability to begin conversations which will help your family dynamically face problems together.


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It’s Your Turn:

  1. How did the boy first try to make the problem go away?
  2. Why did the boy worry about his problem?
  3. What happened to the problem when the boy worried?
  4. Why is the boy not afraid of problems anymore?
  5. What is a problem you have now or had in the past?
  6. How do you think you can face it?
  7. How can your mom/dad help you face it?

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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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