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Gus Becomes a Big Brother: An Adoption Story

November 1, 2019

‘Gus Becomes a Big Brother’ is a heartwarming adoption story, with special emphasis on how an older sibling, Gus, deals with the anticipation, preparation, and experience of becoming a big brother. As the Barker family embarks on their adoption journey, Gus navigates his way through many difficult emotions; such as anxiety, frustration and jealousy. But with the support and guidance of his parents; Gus ultimately develops patience, empathy, compassion, and a ton of brotherly love. Authored by an adoptive mother and psychologist, this book contains many valuable insights for parents involved in domestic or international adoption. It is also applicable to diverse families, such as the Barkers— who successfully worked together to overcome challenges, while celebrating each other’s differences. Overall, the story reveals a deeply connected adoptive family that is bound by love, acceptance and understanding.

(Printed in US, UK or AU)

Gus Cover.jpg

“Sensitive, thorough, loving guidance that helps smooth the adoption process for siblings-to-be.”

“Lonczak, in her latest children’s book focused on teaching resilience, does an admirable job of helping prepare kids for a family adoption. Adults, too, can benefit from how the work thinks through possible problems and offers effective solutions; for example, while Gus will give some of his toys to Pacco, he can keep his favorite ones.”


Kirkus Reviews

Full review: link, PDF

“This bighearted and eventful picture book concerns itself with how families cultivate love.”

“Geared at adults who need to introduce adoption to their kids, this informative guide captures the patience that everyone strives for despite the involved steps. It is refreshing in admitting that even adults feel irritation. That Pacco is a dog of a different breed alludes to transracial adoptions without delving into related details.”

“Bighearted and eventful, Gus Becomes a Big Brother is a picture book designed to inspire discussions about a growing family’s love for each other.”


Foreword Review (Clarion)

Full review: link, PDF



“Author Heather S. Lonczak does a commendable job of guiding families, especially young readers, through the process of adoption. The book highlights the challenges, including the long wait for a match, navigating moments of sibling jealousy, and having a child with a different physical appearance than the rest of the family.”

“… this is a thoughtful and compelling read. Gus Becomes a Big Brother reminds both children and grown-ups that while adoption can be challenging, rewards await those who approach the situation with patience and love.”


BlueInk Review

Full review: link, PDF

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