The book website states that the target audience for this title is people of all ages. The illustrator, Zachary Kline, does a phenomenal job portraying characters’ emotions colorfully to draw children into the story and help them visualize the feelings and concepts being shared in Jessica’s writing. These visuals greatly enhance the book and will appeal to younger children! With age, all individuals will begin to grasp more and more the concepts taught in this book.
Riley the Brave helps children understand how some of their behaviors developed out of necessity while protecting themselves. Those behaviors, which showed how brave Riley was, may not be necessary once safe adults are caring for him. Now, he can be brave by learning to trust safe adults and replacing those behaviors. The behaviors are represented by animals, including a prickly porcupine to keep others away and protect himself, a squirrel who saves up food in case it becomes scarce, and a clever chameleon who blends in to stay out of sight. Several trauma-induced behaviors are addressed in a kid-friendly, compassionate way.
Additionally, this book contains a parent’s section at the end that teaches briefly what occurs in the brain when a child experiences trauma, how it influences behavior, and how caregivers can help children to overcome. This book is empowering to children and caregivers alike in developing social/emotional intelligence! I highly recommend this book and look forward to reading more books about this awesome little cub!
** Spoilers Could Be Ahead **
Margie Fink: Development Director
Margie received her degree in psychology and has worked in various social work capacities. Margie has been chosen in the past to speak on Capitol Hill about the Adoption Tax Credit. She is a witty foster/adoptive mom who is able to give kids from hard places loving structure while providing unbelievable homemade cooking. Margie co-founded Community Kids, a resource and networking 501(c)3 created to assist foster, adoptive, and relative caregiver families.
Check Out: Thoughts From A Foster-Adoptive Mom
**Transfiguring Adoption is a nonprofit organization seeking to nurture growth in foster and adoptive families by giving a HOOT about their families. Transfiguring Adoption does not intend for its reviewers nor its review to be professional, medical or legal advice. These reviews and discussion guides are intended to help parents to better be able to connect and understand their children who come from traumatic backgrounds.