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Kit Coyote: A Brave Pup Helps Children Cope with Transition Into Foster Care

Book cover

Book cover

How does a child feel when entering foster care?

Kit Coyote: A Brave Pup is an engaging new children’s picture book that addresses this topic. Written by former journalist and foster parent Rosemary Zibart and illustrated by Sandi Wright, the book validates the confusion and mixed feelings a child may have when entering foster care and is an excellent resource not only for children going into foster care, but the social workers and other adults who care for them.

Author Rosemary Zibart

Author Rosemary Zibart

Roxana Torrico Meruvia, MSW, is a senior practice associate for  the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and an expert in foster care. She said the book not only is beneficial in that it can help children and adult readers better understand the foster care experience, but that it does an excellent job of reinforcing an important message.

“Reading this book with a child can encourage dialogue, help adults better understand the child’s perspective and can help the child understand their experience through the characters in the book,” says Torrico Meruvia. “But what also struck me is that the safety message came through loud and clear. Regardless of what an individual child is going through, the book emphasizes that parents never stop loving children and that the goal of foster care is to keep a child safe.”

Told from a child’s point of view with animals depicting the characters—including “Kathy Rabbit” the social worker who first comes to Kit Coyote’s home with “Officer Bear” to check on Kit’s welfare— the story shows how Kit learns to adjust to new situations, comes to trust helpful adults, expresses his feelings and begins to believe in himself.

More Than a Story—a Powerful Resource

Roxana Torrico Meruvia

Roxana Torrico Meruvia

According to 2016 federal data, the number of children and youth in foster care has risen for the third year in a row—and substance abuse has played a significant role in this increase. This data shows that from 2012-2015, the percentage of removals where parental substance use was a contributing factor increased 13 percent, which is the largest percent increase compared to any other circumstance that triggers a child’s removal from the home.

Children’s books on foster care that are engaging, like Kit Coyote, can be useful tools for social workers and others working with young children in the child welfare system, says Torrico Meruvia.

“There are more than 400,000 children in foster care in the United States at any given time,” says Torrico Meruvia. “We need to continue to build a strong workforce that can manage these very hard and complex situations and help these children, as well as develop more books and resources. On face value, Kit Coyote is a children’s picture book. But in fact, it can be used as a powerful resource that can help children cope and help adults better understand what a child is going through.”

Tips on How to Make the Most of Kit Coyote

Torrico Meruvia suggests reading the book alone before sharing it with a child. Next, think of the child’s individual situation and anticipate questions the child might ask and answers you will give. It helps to be prepared, as questions a child might ask can be challenging, such as

  • Do my parents love me?
  • Why can’t I live with them?
  • When can I see parents?
  • Will I ever see my friends again?
  • Where will I go to school?

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6 Comments

  1. This is lovely! With this little introduction am really interested in the book. Please how can I get it?

  2. Thanks for your interest. There is an email at the bottom of the page where you can contact the author about getting the book.

  3. I am delighted to see these comments and review from Roxana Torrico Meruvia about KIT COYOTE: A BRAVE PUP. As a former foster parent and children’s book author, I felt a strong need to serve this population of vulnerable children as effectively as possible. And I was fortunate to connect with some brilliant illustrators who were able to convey the complex, often contradictory emotions of a child in foster care — hopefully both the images and the text will help a child feel more understood and less alone.

  4. Hi,
    I am interested in getting a copy of Kit Coyote.

  5. I am the Director of Mental Health for YDI Head Start. We have many children who are in Foster care. I believe they would benefit from this book. Please send information on how I can obtain copies for our centers.

    Thank You!

  6. Please note that this book can be found on AMAZON! or you can contact ZProductions505@gmail.com

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