Dennis and his sister need someone to look after them, someone to help wash their feathers and feed them. A grown-up duck called Annie comes to talk with them. ‘I’m scared!’ says Dennis. ‘Who will look after us?’
Through Dennis’ story, this colourful picture book explains what may be happening to young children and helps them to express some of the emotions they may be feeling about upsetting and confusing events. The simple text and open story ensures that Dennis duckling is a flexible resource that can be used with children in a range of settings and circumstances.
Who is this book for?
This book is ideal for very young children (aged 2–5 years old) who are leaving their birth families for the first time to be looked after by foster carers.
What you will find in this book
Dennis is sad because he has to leave his mum and dad as they can no longer look after him. He goes to live on a different pond where he makes new friends and is cared for by grown-up ducks. Through Dennis’ story, this colourful picture book explains what may be happening to young children and helps them to express some of the emotions they may be feeling about upsetting and confusing events.
‘Dennis felt a bit sad when his mum and dad had to leave but he was happy they came and he knew they would come again.
Dennis talked to the duck family who were looking after him. He told them about living with his mum and dad and about the things that made him feel sad.’
The book also contains a booklet with brief guidelines and worksheets which are intended to aid and facilitate discussion and to help children express their thoughts and feelings about transitions.
Paul Sambrooks is a qualified social worker. The Dennis Duckling character was originally created by Barbara Orritt in 1981. Paul revised the story to create this new edition.
Tommaso Levente Tani is a Tuscan book illustrator and author.
Love this book. Simple with large print pictures to explain a journey of a duckling into a foster family. It is very powerful. Highly recommend.
Natasha, five stars, Amazon.co.uk
A definite must have for all foster carers. I have been going round all foster carers I know recommending this book. The book is simple but effective. The kids I have like the story and can easily understand what’s happening and see themselves in Dennis.
Five stars, Amazon.co.uk
This lovely, simple story outlines Dennis Duckling’s move from his birth family to a foster family. This story could be useful with foster parents or social workers to explore the issues around past experiences, current concerns and future issues. There are also brief, but very helpful notes at the back to help guide parents/carers through the process with the child.
Youth in Mind website
This is a bright engaging book for the younger child. It could be read by anyone involved with the child during transition from birth family to foster care or permanent placement. It has some helpful notes for the adult who will be reading to the child. The story allows acknowledgement of the fact that new places can be unfamiliar and that, with time, things can feel better. It also allows the move to happen without blaming any of the adults involved. Dennis Duckling gives an opportunity to work through the concept of foster care or adoption with the younger child in a non-threatening way. It allows the child and carer to discuss different situations and feelings around them.
Fiona Strachan, Foster Families