When it comes to finding books that speak to foster and adoptive families, it’s not always essential that the theme of the stories be exclusively foster care or adoption. It’s possible and even more interesting to find books that offer subtle messages that may appeal to foster and adoptive families.In my opinion there are at least six Dr. Seuss classics that fit into this category.
Full of fun rhyming and creative creatures, the book Green Eggs and Ham encourages children to not judge something before trying it. A great message for foster children who often miss out on things many of us take for granted, yet may be too timid to try something new. The same is true for many adopted children. The rhyming words and repetition may also be good for children who are adopted internationally and learning English as a second language.
Horton Hears a Who! is another classic with one of my favorite Dr. Seuss characters, Horton the elephant. Many foster children have not been taught basic value lessons and according to the Children’s Book Guide, this book stresses integrity, respect, and responsibility. These are all values we want to see strengthen and grow in our children.
My absolute favorite Dr. Seuss book, and in my opinion a perfect foster parenting story, is Horton Hatches the Egg. Horton the elephant is asked to sit on an egg for a bird who is tired of sitting and waiting for the egg to hatch. She goes off and has a wonderful time, while Horton sits on the egg through all kinds of weather and hardships. Then, when all the hard work is done the bird comes back for her egg. When the egg hatches we see that the baby bird has some of Horton’s elephant features too. He has made a lasting impact on the baby bird. Having a lasting impression on a child, that is foster care. I love that.
This Dr. Seuss book offers a special inspiring message for those about to embark on a new adventure or even a new phase in their life. However, the message is balanced with reminders that there will be bad times as well as good. A perfect read for children entering or exiting a foster home, or joining an adoptive family. This book would also make a great gift for brand new foster or adoptive families, because they truly are about to take an amazing, new adventure.
5. The Sneetches
Tells the story of a group of creatures called the Sneetches. Some Sneetches have stars on their bellies and feel superior to other Sneetches that do not have stars on their bellies. Through the efforts of a salesman, the Sneetches are able, for a fee, to get stars applied or removed from their bellies. This occurs numerous times until the Sneetches forget which creatures were originally starred and which were starless. At the end, they all learn a lesson in equally and become friends. The Sneetches was originally written as a satire of discrimination between races and cultures. This is another wonderful Dr. Seuss book for foster and adoptive families that are mixing races and cultures in their homes on a daily basis.
6. What Was I Scared of?
In this Dr. Seuss story a young character is scared of an empty pair of pants that he thinks is following him. Upon being trapped in a bush with the pair of pants, he learns that the pair of pants is also scared of him. The character comforts the pants and they become friends. While very silly, the message is strong, that ignorance increases fear. Once we learn a bit about someone else and increase our understanding, fear dissolves and friendships can develop. What Was I Scared of? is another great option for foster children and adopted children that will be facing many new and often scary events and people.