Books are a great way of helping children understand big issues like adoption and the reasons why some children can’t stay with their birth families. Over the last few years, there have been some brilliant children’s books written by adopters to help their little ones understand their history.
The Blanket Bears is one of those books. I came across it by chance after reading a post about it on Instagram a few years ago. I’m so glad that I did as it’s such a lovely book that’s become a firm favourite in our home. It’s written by Samuel Langley-Swain and beautifully illustrated by Ashlee Spink and gently explains adoption to young children.
It’s a great tool to use for adopted children as well as birth children to help them understand the process and who some of the adults involved are and what they do.
The story centres on two little bears who had no one to take care of them. Tilly, a social worker bear, found them shivering in the woods. She looked after them and took them to Bailey and Niko who are foster care bears. The story then follows the two bears as they settle into their new home. It explores Tilly’s role in finding them a forever family and then describes how they found out about and met their adoptive parents.
The book is a great starting point to introduce the roles of all the people involved in an adopted child’s story. Our eldest was five when we discovered the book, so she knew about her birth family. But when we started to read it, she didn’t understand much the process that brought us together. Blanket Bears is one of the best books I’ve found the help explain the role of social workers and foster carers.
The Blanket Bears: Life story tool
When we read it, we sometimes use the name of our daughter’s social worker instead of Tilly. Our eldest has a strong understanding of who her foster carers are. Her younger sister lived with the same carers for the first few months of her life. And so eldest met them again during introductions with youngest and sometimes uses their names instead of Bailey and Niko when we read the story. I love it when she does because it shows how far she’s come in understanding her history.
The Blanket Bears is a beautiful book to help adopted children understand the process that brought them to their family. But it’s also a great book for young relatives to read too, to help them understand the adoption process. So, I would highly recommend it to adopters and their extended families.
The Blanket Bears is available to buy from Waterstones. This is an affiliate link which means if you click on the link to the book and buy it, I get paid a fee from Waterstones.
Head over to the book review section if you want to find out about more adoption books.