Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday. It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because I think that this book conveys the story of a friendship between a young girl and her disabled friend.
Theme/Topic- art/friendship/cerebral palsy
Genre- Realistic fiction
Opening and Synopsis-
“My friend Suhana is like no other girl I know.”
An unnamed 7-year-old girl has a special friend she visits. Her friend can’t talk or walk or do any of the things her other friends can do, but they are still friends. The girl learns to use art to communicate with her special friend, her friend with cerebral palsy.
Why I liked this book- The book was co-authored by Shaila Abdullah’s 10 year-old daughter, Aanyah. In the back of the book it says that Aanyah is “drawn to children with physical and mental disabilities.” Aanyah also volunteers at a special needs community center and hopes to open a special needs school some day. – Just plain awesomeness! The illustrations in this book are well done and sweet looking. I love the softness of the story and the genuine good feeling you get by reading it. I like how the girl reaches out to Suhana through art and that the girl and Suhana are the same age. This book is very well done.
Activities and Resources-
There is a special note from the authors right in the back of the book about cerebral palsy and friendships. It points out that kids with disabilities make friends just like the rest of us. A great activity is to do what the main character does in the book! Have your kids make/spend time with kids with disabilities. Volunteer at an organization or event.
I found a great blog article on a blog called -“Love That Max: Special Needs Blog” with the tag line “A blog about kids with special needs who kick butt” 🙂 The article lists 50 ways special needs kids are the same as typical kids. Click HERE to read it.
Scholastic has an article for teachers and how to meet the special learning challenges for kids with cerebral palsy. Click HERE to read it.
Cerebral palsy (dot) org has a ton of information and advice for parents, kids and teachers – Click HERE.
To find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hill’s blog HERE!
Sue Morris of Kid-Lit Reviews, reviewed this book too – Click HERE to read it!