Elementary teachers want books to read to their class about kids in shelters but there are very few books written on this topic.
So I decided to write a picture book about one of the best traits of most older kids at the shelter: they help, protect, console, and pay attention to kids younger than they are.
Most little kids at the shelter seem to respond to and trust older kids before they accept the large group of available women. They talk to the "big kids", play with them, climb into their laps, follow them around.
Older kids know who the bullies are and watch out for the "babies." They give them part of a treat, bring a toy to them in the high chair, grab dangerous or dirty things from them. They aren't usually asked to do this, either.
Some of this may be related to having been in a parental role at home when Mom is out of commission. But many kids who aren't expected to take over at home also show these kind behaviors to younger sibs and other children.
In fact, many a teacher, social worker, psychologist, nurse, doctor, etc. grew up looking out for younger kids or were the oldest child in the family.
Wouldn't it be wonderful if these shelter kids turned their negative childhood experience of having to parent younger siblings into a job in which they help or teach children all the time?
Works for me.