Oh boy friends, once my eyes were opened to the child's perspective on all of these events the books we owned became less appealing. For kiddos from hard places, adoption is not a magical experience. Adoption is like kidnapping. Children are being ripped away from their culture, people, language, side of the world, routine, smells, tastes, sounds etc etc etc to a world that is somehow "better." I could write much about this, but that isn't the reason for this post.
The books written by Cindy R. Lee are quite different. The books are based on skills taught in Trust Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) developed by Dr. Karyn Purvis and Dr. Davis Cross from the Institute of Child Development. Purvis and Cross wrote The Connected Child which is sort of like the Bible for parenting kids from hard places. While some of their ideas are a bit different than the parenting philosophy of Heather Forbes (Beyond Consequences, Logic and Control) much of it is the same. Enough is the same that I was intrigued when I heard that Cindy Lee wrote children's books adapting the concepts of the chapters of The Connected Child into stories that kids could understand.
I was skeptical for sure. I have read a lot of bad books attempting to teach my kids to have kind words and gentle touch. I have wasted a lot of money of poorly written adoption books, as I wrote about above. I was twice bitten, yet I kept thinking that if Dr. Purvis was endorsing them they must be good.
I was surprised to find these books very readable and engaging. My children connected with them so naturally that even before I helped ask questions that connected the dots they were putting themselves into the story. They have a couple of pages for parents to read with ideas and questions to ask to bring the main points home. The whole idea of bringing an adult chapter book into the hands of children is brilliant. While the books appear to be written for young children, I do believe that older children would gain much from the books, esp the Doggie one. I really feel like you will not be let down if you purchase any of these books.
I have links provided for each book below. You can click on them and learn more about each book. I might as well not write what others have already written better.
The first great book is: Baby Owl Lost Her Whoo
This book teaches kids that they need a boss to help them made decisions. My kids long to be in control and try to make my life chaotic so I will surrender control to them by going mildly (or not so mildly) crazy. This book (and the others) have great tips and games in the back. There is a march/tag game that my kids really like.
Another great book is: Doggie Doesn't Know "No!"
I really really like this one. It is by far my favorite. It does such a good job showing the dog when he was in a hard place, his fears in being adopted, his lack of understanding of why things are done a certain way, the love of an adoptive dad, the chance to have a name and a family and receive praise. My son can truly relate to this dog and a simple book seems to draw a lot out of him. We talk a lot at home about our "baby brain" and our "big boy brain" or our "safe brain." This dog models the two very well.
The third book released is: It's Tough to Be Gentle: A Dragon's Tale This book is also very good, but more wordy then the previous two so possibly not as reader and listener friendly. The themes of gentle touch and fear responses are key in this book and key in our home so it is a very helpful book.
I copied this list from her website.