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Children's LiteratureOnly her mother is allowed to call her Cowgirl and together they dream of the day when they will live on a ranch with horses. But the little girl in Finding the Right Spot is not living with her mother, who drinks too much and can't keep a job. She lives with a foster parent whom she calls Aunt Dane. Aunt Dane is the best of foster parents, not trying to replace a mother but letting her foster child feel loved, letting her know it's okay to cry, encouraging her to enjoy today. The little girl waits eagerly for her mother to come celebrate her birthday and when she doesn't, she shares her love with a new puppy instead. The animated illustrations are touching and true. The story is told simply and honestly, offering foster children a chance to identify with someone like themselves and perhaps help them open up about their thoughts and worries. As a classroom read-aloud this poignant story can generate understanding and empathy for different sorts of families and family situations. It is also perfect reading for any adults who are caring for children who are not their own. At the end, a two-page "Note to Caregivers" discusses the range of emotions such children feel—repeated disappointment, loss, uncertainty, perennial hope, complicated loyalties. The caregiver in turn can listen to the child and offer empathy, time to adjust and reassurance. 2004, Magination Press, Ages 6 up.