— Reviewed by Kim Phagan-Hansel
Written by psychotherapist Eshele Williams, “But Mommy, Our Last Name Isn’t Foster” is a kid-friendly introduction to foster care. The book introduces readers to the Ellington family whose young son has a conversation with his mom about what it means to become a foster family. As the young boy peppers his mom with questions after an encounter he had at school, the book dives deeper to explore a child’s thoughts and feelings about being a foster family and welcoming new children into the family.
As a biological child in a foster family, Williams brings personal as well as professional expertise to her storytelling. In the book’s end note, Williams writes, “Children are an important part of the foster care team” and having conversations, including tools like reading this book together with your child, help to give children “Voice and Choice as their lives are impacted and change as children come and go.”
The book’s characters demonstrate how to have sometimes difficult conversations. In addition, the colorful illustrations help create a warm, inviting feel to entice readers to snuggle up with the book that ultimately helps to open the door to more conversation about what it means to become a foster family. A Spanish version of the book is also available.
“But Mommy, Our Last Name Isn’t Foster” is great for families with young children to read together, especially if they’re new to fostering.