Helping Foster Kiddos Navigate Feelings Through Books


When my boys first came to live with me, I started to notice what types of books and movies they were drawn to. For instance, they would watch Lilo & Stitch on repeat. I’m making an assumption, but I think it is because they can relate to little Stitch. That’s what kids do. They grasp at everything they can to make sense of their worlds. For foster kids, especially, there is a realm of feelings that they are constantly trying to navigate. I am always on the hunt for new movies and books that might help my boys feel like they are not alone and, more importantly, to help my boys feel safe enough to talk about what is going on in their hearts and minds. Here are a few books that we have been loving lately:

Pup and Bear” by Kate Banks & Naoko Stoop: We borrowed this book from the library and quickly had to buy our own copy. Not only are the illustrations beautiful, but it perfectly illustrates the love of a foster parent through the story of a wolf and polar bear. The message relayed throughout the story is that just because the polar bear isn’t the wolf’s mother, she can still care for him and keep him safe. 

I’ll Always Love You” by Paeony Lewis: My boys struggle to differentiate me loving them as a person versus loving their behavior. This book is about a little bear named Alex, who breaks his mother’s favorite bowl and asks his mother about numerous scenarios to be sure his mother would still love him.  The book does a great job at illustrating that the mother bear will always love Alex, but that there are still natural consequences to not great behaviors. 

Even Superheros Have Bad Days” by Shelly Becker: My 7-year-old picked this one up at a book fair this year, and it was a perfect choice! Both of my boys are drawn to anything superhero related, so this book is very loved in our house. Beastie, Zing, Thrash, and Laserman help kiddos understand that we all have bad days, but we get to choose how we handle our big feelings. The book illustrates that while superheroes could use their super-powers to make unsafe choices to express their anger and frustration, instead, they choose to help people and allow themselves to feel their feelings and find ways to help them let the feelings pass. 

What books are you and your kiddos loving lately? I would love to add more to our collection!