Sometimes … A story of Transition for Foster and Adopted Children

By Keri Vellis Illustrated by Jin Lehr Keri Vellis, 2017, ISBN: 978-0-692-86839-3,18 pages, $10.99 Through Keri Vellis’ new book, “Sometimes … A story of Transition for Foster and Adopted Children,” we follow the journey of a child transitioning to a new home. The child, who clings to a Teddy bear, faces this transition with reluctance, nerves and fear. However, throughout the journey the child begins to feel safe and OK. Although there are many factors that are unknown, the book reminds the reader that they are special and safe. With phrases like “Sometimes you need to go live in another house … until things get figured out” the 18-page storybook illustrates a new normality to living in an untraditional household. Further, the illustrations capture the raw nervous emotions that youth can feel when going to a new home. Throughout the child’s journey, we are exposed to diverse definitions of a family and find that sometimes there are two dads, or two moms in a household. As the story ends, the child is no longer clutching a teddy bear, and feels safe and happy to be in the home. “Sometimes” is a resourceful tool for foster parents, social workers, therapists and child welfare offices to reassure youth that things will be OK. With reassuring phrases like “Sometimes you might even get scared … but know that you are always safe,” the book gently addresses the fears and doubts that children in the foster care system may have. Uniquely, the author is a foster parent and the illustrator is a former foster youth, so they both lend their personal experience in the creation of the book. Because of the limited details of the youth’s circumstances, the book can be relatable to any youth in a period of transition or in an untraditional family structure. The book provides comfort with unknown factors and successfully addresses difficult topics in an open and calm tone. Further, the universality of the book paves a fruitful way to begin sensitive conversations with children.  — Reviewed by Marisol Zarate  

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