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Elle the Little Lost Wombat Review by Renita Kuehner

Sharon Bracken
Child Heroes Publishing

I am always looking for ways to really make the kids “visit” places we are studying in geography. Recently we had the opportunity to review the book Elle the Little Lost Wombat by Sharon Bracken. It opened up a whole new discussion between the girls and I about International Adoption and the feelings of children that are being adopted.

Elle is a little Wombat who loses her parents very suddenly. She is forced to leave her home and move into an orphanage. Of course, this is a very frightening experience for Elle. She not only is very sad because of losing her parents, but now she must live in a strange place that is not as nice as the home she was living in. Life in the orphanage is very different. She has to live in a large room with other wombats, and no privacy. Her clothes do not fit, and she has no toys to play with. Her sadness turns to anger as she goes through the grieving process. It’s very stressful for Elle.

Elle saw so many other wombats be adopted, but she remained at the orphanage. Would she ever find a new home? Did she want to find a new home? Finally, one day, Elle meets a family that has traveled to take her home. But they do not speak the same language. Elle became scared again. While they were at the orphanage, there was someone to translate. She loved the visits of this new family. But after Elle traveled to her new country and home to live, there were new challenges to face.

Life was different in her new home. But she finally had her own room, and new clothes that fit! She had plenty to eat. Elle was very scared though. But she soon realized that her new family was scared also. They just wanted her to be happy, because they loved her.

The story of Elle the Little Lost Wombat really opened up new topics of discussion between the girls and I. It’s a nice story showing the benefits of international adoption. It also helps kids to see that if there are new students from other countries in their class, co-op or church, they are probably a little (or even a lot) scared. Moving to a new place, with a new culture and language is very hard if you have the loving support of your family, but what if you were on your own, such as children in an international adoption?

So, the girls and I talked a lot about being empathetic and putting ourselves in others shoes. How would we feel if we were Elle? Would we be scared? How would we act?

Elle the Little Lost Wombat is a great addition for families that are going through the process of international adoption or even if you just want to help your child to understand how adopted children can feel. 

-Product review by Renita Kuehner, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, January, 2018