This article is brought to you by Fostering Hampshire Children.
Sharing stories as a foster family can help make transitions easier to cope with and understand. They create space to discuss difficult topics and emotions, while offering an opportunity to bond with each other. Here are four books you can read with your young foster children to help spark conversations about their feelings.
How Are You Feeling Today Baby Bear? by Jane Evans and Laurence Jackson
Baby Bear lives with the Big Bears and his tummy is always full of sunshine. Then, one night, Baby Bear hears a big storm downstairs. When he wakes up in the morning, his tummy starts to feel grey and rainy. How will he cope with these big new feelings?
This charming storybook helps children who have lived with violence at home begin to explore their feelings. It also includes guidance for adults on how to the story to start conversations, and fun games and activities to help children understand and express difficult emotions.
A Terrible Thing Happened by Margaret Holmes
Sherman watched the most terrible thing happen. Although he tried to forget about it, something uncomfortable grew inside him. He felt nervous, his stomach hurt, he had bad dreams, and he even began to behave meanly, getting into trouble. Then Sherman met Ms Maple, who listened to him talk about the terrible thing and he started to feel better.
This gentle, illustrated tale encourages traumatised children to talk to trusted adults, including suggestions and a list of other sources to help them process specific events.
The Boy Who Built a Wall Around Himself by Ali Redford
Boy built a wall to keep himself safe and protected. Then Someone Kind came along, and Boy began to wonder if life on the other side of his wall might be better.
Written for primary-school-aged children, this picture book explains how children who have experienced painful or traumatic events can build barriers around themselves. It also supports children as they explore their feelings.
The Invisible String by Patrice Karst
Although you can’t see the invisible string, you can feel it in your heart, and it connects you to everyone you love. The Invisible String offers a simple approach to overcoming loneliness, separation, or loss in a way that children can easily understand.
This heartwarming picture book explores the unbreakable connections between us and opens up deeper conversations about love.