Read Elliot by Julie Pearson Manon Gauthier Online


Elliot's parents love him very much, but all is not well. When he cries, they do not understand why. When he yells, they do not know what to do. When he misbehaves, they do not know how to react. One day a social worker named Thomas comes to visit, and Elliot's world turns upside-down. Manon Gauthier's soft collage illustrations feature approachable rabbit characters, whilElliot's parents love him very much, but all is not well. When he cries, they do not understand why. When he yells, they do not know what to do. When he misbehaves, they do not know how to react. One day a social worker named Thomas comes to visit, and Elliot's world turns upside-down. Manon Gauthier's soft collage illustrations feature approachable rabbit characters, while Julie Pearson's soothing, repetitive text guides Elliot gently through the foster child system. The new families that care for the little boy are kind, but everything is strange and new, and the sudden changes make him want to cry and yell AND misbehave. Then, when it becomes clear that Elliot's parents will never be able to take him back, Thomas sets out to find Elliot one last home - a forever, forever home with a family that will love and care for him no matter what....

Title : Elliot
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781927485859
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 32 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Elliot Reviews

  • Betsy
    2019-01-21 17:23

    The librarian and the bookseller face shelving challenges the like of which you wouldn’t believe. You think all picture books should simply be shelved in the picture book section by the author’s last name and that’s the end of it? Think again. If picture books served a single, solitary purpose that might well be the case. But picture books carry heavy burdens, far above and beyond their usual literacy needs. People use picture books for all sorts of reasons. There are picture books for high school graduates, for people to read aloud during wedding ceremonies, for funerals, and as wry adult jokes. On the children’s side, picture books can help parents and children navigate difficult subjects and topics. From potty training to racism, complicated historical moments and new ways of seeing the world, the picture book has proved to be an infinitely flexible object. The one purpose that is too little discussed but is its most complicated and complex use is when it needs to explain the inexplicable. Cancer. Absentee parents. Down syndrome. Explaining just one of these issues at a time is hard. Explaining two at one time? I’d say it was almost impossible. Julie Pearson’s book Elliot takes on that burden, attempting to explain both the foster system and children with emotional developmental difficulties at the same time. It works in some ways, and it doesn’t work in others, but when it comes to the attempt itself it is, quite possibly, heroic.Elliot has a loving mother and father, that much we know. However, for whatever reason, Elliot’s parents have difficulty with their young son. When he cries, or yells, or misbehaves they have no idea how to handle these situations. So the social worker Thomas is called in and right away he sets up Elliot in a foster home. There, people understand Elliot’s needs. He goes home with his parents, after they learn how to take care of him, but fairly soon the trouble starts up again. This time Thomas takes Elliot to a new foster care home, and again he’s well tended. So much so that even though he loves his parents, he worries about going home with them. However, in time Thomas assures Elliot that his parents will never take care of him again. And then Thomas finds Elliot a ‘forever” home full of people who love AND understand how to take care of him. One he never has to leave.Let me say right here and now that this is the first picture book about the foster care system, in any form, that I have encountered. Middle grade fiction will occasionally touch on the issue, though rarely in any depth. Yet in spite of the fact that thousands and thousands of children go through the foster care system, books for them are nonexistent. Even “Elliot” is specific to only one kind of foster care situation (children with developmental issues). For children with parents who are out of the picture for other reasons, they may take some comfort in this book, but it’s pretty specific to its own situation. Pearson writes from a place of experience, and she’s writing for a very young audience, hence the comforting format of repetition (whether we’re seeing Elliot’s same problems over and over again, or the situation of entering one foster care home after another). Pearson tries to go for the Rule of Three, having Elliot stay with three different foster care families (the third being the family he ends up with). From a literary standpoint I understand why this was done, and I can see how it reflects an authentic experience, but it does seem strange to young readers. Because the families are never named, their only distinguishing characteristics appear to be the number of children in the families and the family pets. Otherwise they blur.Pearson is attempting to make this accessible for young readers, so that means downplaying some of the story’s harsher aspects. We know that Elliot’s parents are incapable of learning how to take care of him. We are also assured that they love him, but we never know why they can’t shoulder their responsibilities. This makes the book appropriate for young readers, but to withdraw all blame on the parental side will add a layer of fear for those kids who encounter this book without some systematic prepping beforehand. It would be pretty easy for them to say, “Wait. I sometimes cry. I sometimes misbehave. Are my parents going to leave me with a strange family?”Artist Manon Gauthier is the illustrator behind this book and here she employs a very young, accessible style. Bunnies are, for whatever reason, the perfect animal stand-in for human problems and relationships, and so this serious subject matter is made younger on sight. With this in mind, the illustrator’s style brings with it at least one problematic issue. I suspect that many people that come to this book will approach it in much the same way that I did. My method of reading picture books is to grab a big bunch of them and carry them to my lunch table. Then I go through them and try to figure out which ones are delightful, which ones are terrible, and which ones are merely meh (that would be the bulk). I picked up Elliot and had the reaction to it that I’m sure a lot of people will. “Aw. What a cute little bunny book” thought I. It was around the time Elliot was taken from his family for the second time that I began to catch on to what I was reading. A fellow children’s librarian read the book and speculated that it was the choice of artist that was the problem. With its adorable bunny on the cover there is little indication of the very serious content inside. I’ve pondered this at length and in the end I’ve decided that it’s not the style of the art that’s problematic here but the choice of which image to show on the book jacket. Considering the subject matter, the publisher might have done better to go theThe Day Leo Said, ‘I Hate You’ route. Which is to say, show a cover where there is a problem. On the back of the book is a picture of Elliot looking interested but wary on the lap of a motherly rabbit. Even that might have been sufficiently interesting to make readers take a close read of the plot description on the bookflap. It certainly couldn’t have hurt.Could this book irreparably harm a child if they encountered it unawares? Short Answer: No. Long Answer: Not even slightly. But could they be disturbed by it? Sure could. I don’t think it would take much stretch of the imagination to figure that the child that encounters this book unawares without any context could be potentially frightened by what the book is implying. I’ll confess something to you, though. As I put this book out for review, my 4-year-old daughter spotted it. And, since it’s a picture book, she asked if I could read it to her. I had a moment then of hesitation. How do I give this book enough context before a read? But at last I decided to explain beforehand as much as I could about children with developmental disabilities and the foster care system. In some ways this talk boiled down to me explaining to her that some parents are unfit parents, a concept that until this time had been mercifully unfamiliar to her. After we read the book, her only real question was why Elliot had to go through so many foster care families, so we got to talk about that for a while It was a pretty valuable conversation and not one I would have had with her without the prompting of the book itself. So outside of children that have an immediate need of this title, there is a value to the contents.What’s that old Ranganathan rule? Ah, yes. “Every book its reader.” Trouble is, sometimes the readers exist but the books don’t. Books like Elliot are exceedingly rare sometimes. I’d be the first to admit that Pearson and Gauthier’s book may bite off a bit more than it can chew, but it’s hardly a book built on the shaky foundation of mere good intentions. Elliot confronts issues few other titles would dare, and if it looks like one thing and ends up being another, that’s okay. There will certainly be parents that find themselves unexpectedly reading this to their kids at night only to discover partway through that this doesn’t follow the usual format or rules. It’s funny, strange, and sad but ultimately hopeful at its core. Social workers, teachers, and parents will find it one way or another, you may rest assured. For many libraries it will end up in the "Parenting" section. Not for everybody (what book is?) but a godsend to a certain few.For ages 4-7.

  • Destinee Sutton
    2019-02-09 15:16

    This is literally the only picture book in my (large) library system about a child in foster care. We have a few books on the subject in easy nonfiction, but this is the only one that's a story for very young children. It's not a perfect book. For example, one reviewer thought that Elliot is developmentally delayed. I think this interpretation is valid, but that's not how I read it. Elliot's parents "don't know how to take care of him" when he cries, yells, and misbehaves. I read that as a gentle way of saying they are neglecting him. I guess it depends on how old you think Elliot is. Crying, yelling, and misbehaving are normal behaviors for a child under the age of five or so. Maybe Elliot is older and his behaviors are due to developmental issues. It's ambiguous, I think. I can see someone asking for this book to use as either a mirror or a window for a kid. Maybe it would be right for a child who is going to get a sibling from foster care. Or for children who are going through the foster care system themselves. It is a super gentle version of what can be an ugly experience. It paints the birth parents in a forgiving light. Elliot's emotions are intense (he's scared, he cries, he worries). But the book has a happy conclusion.

  • Joella
    2019-02-08 19:16

    The idea of this book is good and perhaps even needed...especially with a difficult subject such as foster care. However, some young readers could look at this and think "it's my fault I can't be with my parents." Because the child he got taken away. Because the child got angry...he got taken away. Adults that read this will know the child cried he was hungry and that isn't the child's fault. Or that when the child yells he was upset about something and that isn't the child's fault. But a child might look at this and think that if he or she does certain things (like crying or yelling or misbehaving) then it is their fault they were taken away from their family. And that is the part I don't like so much. And then there is the end. When Elliot gets to be with his forever family...his parents still come around. I don't know of any families that when a child is removed from a harmful situation permanently the biological parents are still actively involved in the child's life. Usually it is just the adoptive family that is around. But...perhaps there are some situations and I just don't know of any of them...

  • Barbara
    2019-02-05 18:15

    In this touching picture book about families and adoption, Elliot knows his parents love him, but they don't always understand him or know how to meet his needs. After he is moved into the foster care system, he still misses his original family, but appreciates his new caregivers' efforts of take care of him. After a few twists and turns, he ends up being placed in a forever home. The book tenderly and carefully approaches a difficult topic without placing blame on Elliot or his family. Using soft illustrations fashioned into collages and relying on rabbit characters, the book could provide an ideal introduction to families and foster care. Not every family can meet the needs of its offspring, after all, and becoming a family has more to do with it than just being born into a family.

  • Ranea
    2019-02-14 15:11

    Excellent tool for explaining foster care and adoption to a child.

  • Tasha
    2019-01-24 13:40

    Elliot was a little boy whose parents loved him very much. But there was a problem, when Elliot cried his parents did not understand why and when he yelled they did not know what to do. So one day a social worked named Thomas came and Elliot was taken to a new family with a new mother and father. It was different there and Elliot’s new family understood when he was hungry, when he was upset and when he needed attention. Elliot still got to see his parents sometimes too and they had a lot of fun together. His parents did try to care for him once again, but they still did not understand what he needed so he got moved to another family who could respond to his needs. Finally, Elliot came to a family where they wanted him to stay forever. They understood his needs even more deeply than any other family had and said things like “I love you forever, forever.”This book is so very important. It is a book about the foster care system and one that is so intensely honest that it can be hard to read at times. Pearson manages to not make Elliot’s parents bad at all, keeping their neglect of Elliot vague enough to fit the experiences of many children. That also keeps the book appropriate for the youngest listeners. At the same time, Pearson shows the way children are moved from home to home, the way that they can go back to their parents, and the ability to finally find a permanent home where they are loved and cared for. The moment where parents finally use the word “love” with Elliot is so powerful because readers until that moment will not have realized that he had not been told it before. It’s a moment of realization that stings the heart.Gauthier’s illustrations are done in cut paper collage. The colors are muted and quiet, creams and tans with lines on them. The background colors change slightly with the various families that Elliot lives with, but they are always muted. I appreciated this subtlety in the colors that supports the quiet and undramatic feel of the entire book.Honest and vital, this picture book fills a huge gap in children’s books with its depiction of the foster system for small children. Appropriate for ages 3-5.

  • Kris - My Novelesque Life
    2019-02-10 15:38

    ELLIOTWritten by Julie PearsonIllustrated by Manon Gauthier2016; 32 PagesPajama PressGenre: children's, picture book, families, adoption3 1/2Elliot's parents love him but do not know how to take care of him. He soon finds himself in another family. While they understand him he wants to go home. He is sent home after his parents learn how to take care of him. Unfortunately, his parents still don't understand him. He goes to another family that understand him but it is still the same. Will Elliot ever find a forever forever family? I liked this book about foster and adoptive families. It explains things in a simple way that children can understand. A great book! (Ages 4-6)

  • Erin Murphy
    2019-01-20 16:35

    I like that there is a book that covers the topic of foster care and adoption, from the perspective of the child, but I will admit that I was a little confused by the presentation. They say that Elliot's parents didn't understand what to do when he cried or yelled, or misbehaved. I think that could be 90% of parents at times. It just seemed over -simplified and from the first few pages didn't see why that would equate to a need to be taken from a home and put into foster care. Like I said though, it is good there I'd a boom that deals with this topic and I did like the concept (after the initial few pages).

  • Kya
    2019-01-26 15:30

    Being a child in foster care is hard! Especially so when your parents love and try to take care of you best they can, without it being quite enough. I think this book would be great for kids going through that process as well as those that know others in it, wondering why their friend keeps switching houses and families. Its a shame that there aren't a lot of books that have foster-care characters, seeing as it is a prevalent part of our society.

  • Jessica Furtado
    2019-01-19 13:15

    It is so important to have supportive resources available for families going through adoption and fostering, and I am not sure that this book is one of them. I fear that this book may actually confuse children more, despite its good intentions.

  • Selena
    2019-02-05 18:26

    All about Elliot as he goes through the foster care system and gets placed with a new, loving family who can provide for him.

  • December SIrmans
    2019-01-31 12:32

    This is a great book to teach children about the foster care system and that the bunnys parents do love him, but can't take care of him. A lot of kids have gone through foster care and this would be a great book for children to relate to it.

  • Jenn
    2019-01-30 17:26

    We checked this out first before purchasing, just to see if it was a fit. This is probably one of the only picture books dealing with foster care, and explaining kid's feelings, why they act out, and how to explain the parents' issues. And it hits the mark perfectly. We read it over and over and our copy is waiting to be A's adoption day present. "Forever ever" has now become part of our conversations. A probably won't remember any of this when she is older, but this book will be an amazing resource.

  • Laura Bowman
    2019-02-13 13:22

    Elliot is a beautiful little story about a very young child going through the foster care system. Elliot's first foster care family isn't his last foster care family, and his journey to finding a forever, forever home is troubled with similar trials and tribulations that children in the foster care system are all too familiar with.This book is a rare, little gem. There aren't many stories out there that spark a discussion between children and adults about the foster care or adoption systems, and Elliot's story does just that.The story isn't spelled out didactically for children, and so there is a potential for some readers to come upon this, without context, and read into the story and place the blame on Elliot for each time Thomas takes him to a new family. However, the beauty of this story is that it can be seen both ways--Elliot, like many children going through divorce or adoption, associates himself as the "problem" that causes the families turmoil and disruption when he worries about his desire to misbehave. The omniscient narrator reflects on the ways in which the families Elliot lives with interact and react to him and his behaviours, not Elliot himself, so these reflections can be grounded in Elliot's experience, the various families' experiences, or both. "Sometimes Elliot may feel sad and worried, but he is not to blame--it is that mother and father who did not know what to do. Parenting isn't easy."I think this picture book is an excellent tool for starting a discussion with young readers about the foster care system. Children who are a part of the system will find comfort in knowing they are not alone in their experiences, and children who are unfamiliar with the foster care system will have an opportunity to learn more and gain an understanding about some of their friends and peers that they might not have grasped before.

  • Jessica
    2019-02-01 18:12

    What a tough, but needed book. Elliot is a young bunny who has a family that doesn't really understand how to care for him. They love him, but they don't understand what to do if he cries, or misbehaves or is hungry. Thomas, a social worker comes along to take him to a temporary family who do understand him, while his own family learns how to take care of him. He then moves home, but things aren't really better, so Thomas takes him to a second family, and then comes back a final time to take him to a forever family who understands and loves him. His original family occasionally visits, but finally things are settled when he is adopted and a party is thrown to celebrate. There aren't picture books that address foster care, so this is needed, and for that i'm happy. Is it a little confusing? Maybe? I think that this one needs to be a conversation between adult and child for sure - otherwise it could raise fears about being taken away for crying or being angry. However, in careful hands it could be used to reassure a child going through the confusion of foster care, a family becoming foster family, or a family that wants to introduce their child to the concept of foster care as a means of understanding other families. Kudos to Julie Pearson and Manon Gauthier for taking this on. I hope others will do the same.

  • Nancy Kotkin
    2019-01-22 12:22

    While picture books to explain foster care are needed, this one misses the mark. While attempting to be gentle and avoid any blame whatsoever, the book makes it seem as if any child whose parents don't understand him/her would be removed from their home and placed with a series of strangers. This is a terrifying concept for young children. Because let's face it - what child doesn't think his/her parents don't understand him/her sometimes?Furthermore, there is no reason given why Elliot's parents can suddenly take care of him when they weren't able to do so previously. When Elliot must be removed from his parents' custody again, children won't understand why he must go to a different foster family. It is also confusing that Elliot's adoptive parents tell him that he is part of their family forever before his adoption is official, and while his biological parents are still granted visitation.

  • Samantha
    2019-02-09 17:19

    A picture book that explains in simple terms what Elliot goes through when he enters into the foster care system. I really appreciated that the story takes great care not to characterize Elliot's parents as the worst people ever to live, rather at all points it is presented that certain skills are needed to parent and that they lack these skills.The kid emotions are consistent and a pattern is used to demonstrate how the changes in environment Elliot experiences affect him.Cut paper illustrations make excellent use of a bunny family as the main characters. I would've liked to have had more resources in the form of back matter, but this is just such an important and well done book that it only slightly detracts from its greatness for me.Recommended for use with PreK-2+ and as a must-have resource in the Parent/Teacher collections at public libraries.

  • Fiona R
    2019-01-28 12:11

    My feelings were really torn about this book. On the one hand I like the attempts to explain fostering and adoption in a positive way, yet I have always found a direct honest (age appropriate) explanation to be better. Maybe I'm alone here, but using the word "foster family" would be better. If I was a child reading this, I think I would be confused.That said, a child reading this would be left with a feeling of security once adoption was explained. Of course this book would be helpful in conjunction with gentle conversations. Overall I like its sentiment even as I find it a little vague / potentially confusing to children. I'm left with a strange feeling of uncertainty about this one...

  • Diane
    2019-02-01 13:23

    Elliot's mother and father, though they love him, just don't know how to take care of him. They don't know what they need to do when Elliot cries, yells, or misbehaves. So his parents ask for help from a social worker, Thomas, and Elliot goes into the foster care system. This is extremely difficult for Elliot and everything is so different with this new family.He bounces back and forth between his real parents and foster situations, until finally he is adopted by his "forever, forever family." Speaks to the motion and uncertainty that kids go through in this type of situation.

  • Aliza Werner
    2019-01-26 20:21

    While books on this topic (foster care, families, adoption) are needed, this book misses the mark for me in that Elliot is removed from his home, but we don't understand why. If we are only told that his parents didn't know how to react when he cried, yelled, and misbehaved, it doesn't seem like grounds for removing him from his home. I was confused reading it at first. I think a child would be, too, wondering "What did Elliot (or his parents) do wrong?"

  • Chelsea
    2019-01-23 17:15

    I enjoyed the illustrations and message of this book immensely. I believe this book has the ability to be a pivotal book for children who are in foster homes or looking to be adopted. This book may help children who are in foster homes better understand what is going on. While I understand that not every situation will end up like this book, I did appreciate the overall message behind it; that while you may be scared or angry or get into trouble, there is always hope.

  • Kristina Jean Lareau
    2019-01-20 19:29

    Elliot is a beautifully illustrated story about adoption and family. The cut-outs are gorgeous and the story serves its purpose in a way that is accessible and well-written. Oftentimes "topic" books are not of the same quality as other books that have broader appeal; however, this picturebooks has quality illustrations to complement the troubling content of the narrative.

  • Gina
    2019-02-11 14:25

    What a sweet, sweet story. A very simple but clear explanation for a child describing that sometimes moms and dads just don't know how to take care of the child they have and that there is hope. Not all families are perfect and not all situations are so easy, but this is a great story about adoption and foster families.

  • Jill Elizabeth
    2019-02-11 17:11

    I picked up this book at work today for a customer and the little bunny on the cover caught my attention.This is the first picture book I've ever seen that discusses foster care. It's simple and fairly repetitive and while Elliot's situation won't apply to every small child in foster care it's a good introduction to the topic.

  • Nicole
    2019-01-31 13:29

    Many foster children will be able to relate to the confusion and worry that Elliot faces as he moves between homes and sees his parents but no longer lives with them. After several moves he ends up finding a permanent home with adoptive parents. I thought this story was thoughtfully told and specifically addressed the fears and chaos that foster children face.

  • Debby Baumgartner
    2019-01-31 20:33

    Elliot is a rabbit and his mother and father do not know how to care for him. So he is place in other homes where he is cared for. Finally he is put in a home where he is adopted and we be loved forever and ever.

  • Darlene Ivy
    2019-01-16 17:13

    Elliot's parents love him, but don't know how to take care of him, so the foster care system steps in to find him foster families and finally a forever family. Soothing repetition of phrases and emotions.

  • Ana Calabresi
    2019-01-28 14:33

    I love the mixed media illustrations. A topic that needs attention. Maybe my mixed feelings relate more to the seriousness of the topic than the work itself. I was kind of thinking if telling a child his "parents don't know how to take care of him" is the best approach.

  • Natalie
    2019-01-25 20:17

    Maybe something was lost in translation but this misses the mark. I think there is a lot of ambiguity surrounding the circumstances of the child being removed from the home which could lead the child to mistake being placed in foster care as a punishment for misbehavior.

  • Barbra
    2019-02-06 20:13

    Here is a touching story of Elliot whose parents cannot look after him and he needs to find a new forever family. Soft collage illustrations help readers gently connect with this lovable rabbit that is misunderstood. A sensitive story foster parents could share with children ages five to eight.