Cover Image: Home for A While

Home for A While

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Home for A While is a lovely, lovely picture book that has a very good message on love for children in foster care or with a family temporarily.
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Home for a While is a wonderful children's picture book centering a child in foster care. Little people can have big emotions, and being shuffled from one home to another can be difficult to deal with. Lauren Kerstein has provided an invaluable story to help foster children work through those feelings or for other kids to build empathy for others.
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“Calvin lay in the dark.
Nobody wants you.
This isn’t your home.”

Calvin is all alone, looking lost. He has brought his suitcase and his backpack and is coming to stay with Maggie.

My Goodreads review includes an illustration with the caption:
“Calvin clunked his suitcase up the steps of another house.”

Maggie shows him his room, but he won’t unpack his suitcase. When she tucks him in at night and asks if she can hug him, he says no. He’s pretty sure he’s unlovable.

My Goodreads review includes an illustration with the caption:
“‘I’m so happy you’re here’ Maggie said.”

Maggie’s doing what she can to make him feel at home, but Calvin isn’t convinced. He begins bouncing a basketball loud and hard – in the house – and of course the inevitable happens. The ball smashes a flowerpot, and he waits for what he assumes is the inevitable reaction from Maggie.

To his surprise, she is calm. She asks if he’d like to shoot hoops outside. There’s a hoop outside the window. He says no, but he begins to calm down himself.

My Goodreads review includes an illustration with the caption:
“She waited, breathing in and breathing out. Calvin’s breath joined Maggie’s.”

The do go out and shoot hoops and he settles down. He still won’t let her hug him at night, but he asks why she’d want to. She tells him he’s huggable!

When he gets cranky and throws his stuff around, she gives him some clay to work with, and he squishes it and rolls it and kneads it and makes things. But another day, he gets so angry with a school assignment that he jumps on his bed until it breaks!!

My Goodreads review includes an illustration with the caption:
“CRACK! The bed broke. Calvin waited for Maggie’s response.”

She frowned with crossed arms, but then she took him outside for a walk with the trees and flowers and birds and squirrels, and “Calvin’s breath joined Maggie’s. His thoughts quieted.”

Every night, Maggie has asked to hug him, and every night he asks why. She tells him something wonderful about himself that she likes and insists he is huggable. Eventually, of course . . .

My Goodreads review includes an illustration with the caption:
“’Maggie, is this my home... for a while?’
‘Yes Calvin, this is your home for a while.’
He nodded.
‘Could you hug me goodnight?’

Could she ever!

This is a beautifully illustrated story of a lonely little boy who is absolutely convinced he is unwanted and no good to anybody. It is also the story of a warm-hearted woman who seems to have boundless patience and understanding. It’s a terrific one to share with all kids, whether or not they are being fostered or staying with someone for a while.

All children should know that some of their classmates may be going through these changes, too. I would have liked to see some more scenes rather than having them jump straight from one thing to another. If an adult is reading this with a child, I hope they invent some more situations to encourage conversation.

Thanks to NetGalley and Magination Press for the copy for review. Calvin is such a cutie!
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Home for a while is a great book about foster families. Calvin struggles with his emotions because all he’s known is being passed from one home to another. Maggie is his new foster mom for does a great job helping Calvin adjust to his new setting & regulate his emotions.
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I am a foster auntie, and in the process of becoming a foster momma. This book is incredible. It directly addresses fears kiddos might have upon moving to a new home while indirectly teaching coping mechanisms. 

I highly recommend this for all kids. It is written in such an accessible way and not only would reassure/support foster kids, but teach other children about someone who is different than them.
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Wonderful! There are so few picture books that feature foster homes and foster families. I am so happy to see this hit the market and hope that many more will follow. Along with the depiction of a loving, supportive foster home we also get great discussion of big feelings and emotional regulation techniques. And all of this with beautiful, bright illustrations! This book would be a great addition to any classroom or library.
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This book was such a sweet, touching and educational story! Such a great book for littles. This book can be a great conversation starter between you and your children to see a glimpse of the foster care system.
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Home For A While
By: Lauren Kerstein
Pub. date: February 2, 2021
Review date: January 9, 2022

Many thanks to Magination Press, Lauren Kerstein & to NetGalley, for allowing me access to this arc.. I’m leaving my review voluntarily. 
Home For A While is a touching story about a little boy who is placed in the care of a foster mother, in her home, and finds himself unsure of how to deal with the many emotions he’s feeling. The author touches on this subject in the most gentle way, which I’m positive children in foster care would find comforting & reassuring. There is definitely a strong need for more books like this. I highly recommend Home For A While & give it 4 stars.⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

#HomeForAWhile  #NetGalley #LaurenKerstein  #MaginationPress
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This was such a sweet story and it is one that tugs a little on the heartstrings too.

The illustrations in the book are lovely and this book would be ideal for any children that find themselves in a similar position.

It must be really hard and this helps show that they are not alone despite how it feels – a tough subject deal with really well with compassion and feeling

It is 5 stars from me for this one, gets it point over really well – very highly recommended
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What a wonderful book! The illustrations are sensitive to audience and text. It is appropriate BOTH for fostering adult AND distressed child. In it, the child is working through his feelings of being unwanted by physical acts and the foster parent responds calmly with redirection and positive encouragement. I loved it!
I requested and received a free temporary ebook copy from American Psychological Association/ Magination Press via NetGalley. Thank you!
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4.5 Stars 

Home for a While is a story about little Calvin who goes to live with a foster caregiver for a while. He is depressed, dejected, angry, unwilling to trust, and unable to express his feelings. However, Maggie is patient and suggests ways for him to let go of his pent-up frustrations. 
Each night Maggie asks him if she can hug him. Calvin wonders why she wants to. Each night, she gives him an answer that instills confidence in him. 
It’s great to see a picture book tackle issues like foster care and overwhelming emotions. I love the illustrations (they felt so real!) and the steady progress from frustration to mild hope to acceptance. 
It would have been great if Maggie and Calvin talked about what’s hurting him. But given the complexity of the issue and the length of picture books, it might have gotten a little too much. Maybe a sequel for this to show how to initiate a conversation and express their feelings in words? 
To conclude, Home for a While is a sad yet beautiful book. It can be used as a basis to start discussing foster care and how it impacts kids. 
I received an ARC from NetGalley, American Psychological Association, and Magination Press and am voluntarily leaving a review.
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I really enjoyed this book. I haven’t come across many books about foster care and this one was great. The illustrations are bright and appealing and the story shows foster children that they are lovable.
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This was one of the sweetest books I have ever read. It opens doors to perspectives from both the child's and caregivers' eyes and I love that the foster mother is black. Always warms my heart to have the main character be black. This is a great book for the early education classroom as well as for having at home to teach children better about those in foster care.
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Thank you to Magination Press and Netgalley for a free e-galley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

I believe that there is a need for a book like "Home for a while." I enjoyed illustrator's use of colour and the diverse characters. 

Overall, I think that this work is done well, but it doesn't necessarily fit the collections strategy for my library. I would have appreciated a stronger narrative throughout this title, because the book (in my opinion) comes across a touch didactic. Also, my library has not purchased any titles from Magination Press in at least 1o years, so I am not hopeful that this will be added to the collection.

Again, I believe that there is a need for this book and it was done well. Sadly, it just is not a good fit for my collection.
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This is quite an emotional one.

The story tells about a boy under temporary care. He has lost all confidence in adults and strangers and feels unwanted.

The adult who is taking care of him takes care that he takes his time and be patient about the situation. And this is how she takes care of the kid.

Such a short yet impactful read. I love the illustrations so much!

Thank you, author/artist and the publisher, for the advance reading copy.
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Colorfully illustrated, this picture book lovingly depicts the mixed emotions of a boy, Calvin, embarking on a new home, implying this is a child going to live in the home of a woman, Maggie. Calvin's feelings are externalized showing how fear, thoughts, and emotions are not us, but can cause us to react in ways that are inappropriate. No matter how Calvin's feelings manifest, Maggie reassures him he is inherently huggable and full of positive qualities. I like the way the book depicts through text and cartoonlike explosion of feelings, as well as offering more effective calming techniques beneficial for any child. While a foster home (and possibly autism-?) is implied here, I think it would make a stronger story if this was made more explicit either in the narrative or via back matter resources in the book. Without this kind of specificity or other outstanding qualities, this is less likely to be a book I would recommend.
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There are few books that address the feelings of foster care kids.  This book does an admirable job.  Calvin is being moved into a new home “for a while”.  At first he does not want to be hugged and lets his feelings out in various destructive ways, but Maggie just helps him breathe and work through his emotions in a positive way.  This book was simply lovely and so are the Illustrations.  I also love that the illustrator made this an interracial pair which hasn’t been seen often in books on foster care.  I think all those who work in the foster care services would have a copy of this book.  To remind themselves of life’s difficulties when they need it, as well as to help children with new placements.
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A much needed book about a child in foster care. 

The storyline is believable and the illustrations are spot-on. 

This book serves a very under-,served segment of children. There are a lot of kids in foster care and each and every one of them should be given a copy of this book.

5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
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I received an electronic ARC from American Psychological Association through NetGalley.
Kerstein uses a gentle touch as she shares Calvin's story. He arrives to stay with Maggie in yet another foster home though that term is not used in the book. I appreciate the caring way Maggie reached out to him and also acknowledged and accepted his responses. Too many young readers will identify with the emotional swings Calvin experiences as he seeks to be loved. By the end, Calvin has learned to trust the safety of Maggie's home as his home for "a while."
The illustrations offer a window into this relationship and the gamut of emotions children feel when their worlds are out of control.
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An important book for children who are in foster care or find it difficult to be loved.. A warm and understanding text with lovely bright illustrations.
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