A Gentle Book to Introduce a Sensitive Topic: Foster Care
There are now five books in the Oly and Opi series, available to purchase individually or in bulk. The series consists of Oly and Opi: The Curious Octopus Twins (ages 4-10), Oly and Opi: The Curious Octopus Twins (board book for ages 1-3), Oly and Opi: Please Let Me Talk (ages 5-11), and Oly and Opi: Numbers and Colors (ages 1-5).
Author, Dr. Steve J. Rios, knows that explaining foster care and adoption can be difficult. He wrote Oly and Opi to make the process easier for guardians.
Oly and Opi are dumbo octopuses who start their journey in foster care when their mother is exits the picture, leaving them with their "Aunt" Pinky.
The plot of the story eases readers into the topic of foster care while the whimsical and fun ocean characters keep the message light-hearted and gentle. It is important for guardians to read the book before their children do because the octopus becomes sad at one point. We offer a free printable discussion guide to better equip guardians for conversations and emotions that may arise while reading the book. The board books (ages 1-5) do not contain any sensitive material.
The story was written by Dr. Rios, who has worked in foster care for the past 30 years. The book was published in November 2021 by Deep Sea Media. It consists of 14 illustrated pages, available for free viewing and purchase through Kindle and Amazon.
"I enjoyed reading Oly and Opi very much. They express a meaningful message, especially for young children who know they are in a foster home."
- Dr. Joyce Fine, Reading Program Director at Florida International University
"My 6 year old loves it. And, as a parent, I appreciate that it's about a different type of family. It's important for children to be introduced to family diversity."
- Colton Griffith, Resource Teacher, Coral Springs Elementary