I’ve been doing some reading.
Two out of three of them may be children’s books but it still counts. Me and the reading of books have an interesting relationship, well it’s pretty much none existent. I promised myself I wouldn’t read a new book for pleasure until I had read all of Jane Austen’s and that was 10 years ago. I have read books in the past 10 years but mainly those needed for work and in recent years lots and lots of children’s books.
Three books this week have come into my life which have a common theme…upper limb difference. One of them I’ve been waiting to get hold of for months and the others have been welcomed additions, so I thought I’d share my findings for you:
Shared Experiences by Charlotte Fielder
This book came with our Reach membership pack, and I touched on how the first half made me feel in my last post. It has been a really great book, it’s been awhile since something I read has challenged me (maybe because I keep reading children’s books) so it has been wonderful to really reflect on what I have seen. The book does take a much more positive turn than where I left it in my previous post about it, especially my favourite chapter ‘Unwanted Attention’ as it’s given me more confidence and, if it’s at all possible, more joy for the future!
Something that it has made me realise is that I am more focused on the big picture with my son than with my daughter, I think more about his future (even if it is positive). I’m acutely aware of the importance of him becoming an independent person who can fend for himself in the world. In becoming aware of it I’m trying to stop doing that and just enjoy each stage of development as I do with my daughter. Stop wishing time away and remember that ‘he is so much more than the little boy with the little arm’.
Will definitely be passing this onto friends and family, so watch out grandparents!
Chops By Matthew Jenkins
I came across a leaflet for this book in the Reach pack, I had a look into it and discovered it was written by a dad here in the UK whose daughter has an upper limb difference. It’s a lovely rhyming book following Chops and what she enjoys doing, she also happens to have one hand. It just shows her enjoying life, with simple illustrations and thin enough that it can easily go in our travel bag of entertainment. It’s a nice book, good to have out there in the market. The only criticism comes from my daughter who feels the illustrator hasn’t done a good enough job of colouring in the pictures!! If you’d like to buy it you can click here to take you to Amazon.
Different is Awesome by Ryan Haack
I’ve saved the best till last…well of course I have, it would seem I’m a Ryan Haack fan! In all honesty I was actually a bit 50/50 about getting this book because I was concerned it would be too ‘American’. With phrases such as ‘Sure can’ and ‘You bet!’ as well as talking about sports popular there and not here I was concerned it might come across a bit cheesy. Also a great colleague of mine at work takes issue with the over use of the word ‘awesome’ and it really should be reserved for things that inspire awe, so I was a bit cautious, however after reading this book it’s fully justified and it isn’t cheesy at all!
I first saw this book whilst pregnant, Ryan had just released it I think, and it seemed good. It’s based in a true story of when his younger brother took Ryan in for show and tell, which lead to some great questions and conversation about how we are all different and how that is awesome. When I discovered last it was available to buy in the UK I dashed online to get it. My daughter loves it and I was surprised by the quality of the book, the pages, illustrations and the writing. It’s all absolutely great. It encourages everyone to look at themselves and see what’s great, to notice their own differences and celebrate them, as well as showing our abilities. Can’t recommend this enough, teachers and people who look after children in particular will love this. If you’d like to buy it (and please do) you can by clicking here to it’s Amazon page. At the time of writing there isn’t a lot of stock left so definitely get in there quick.
Recently my daughter has been showing more interest in her brother’s left arm, she asked us the other day why he only has one hand. She must be realising that this is different, so having the last two books in the house is great as I was able to show her other people and characters who are similar to her brother, and thanks to ‘Different is Awesome’ we were also given an opportunity to tell her what makes her awesome. Which is belting.
On a day to day note, we’re all doing grand. My right hand man is doing very well at tummy time pushing himself up lots, and as his previously mentioned desire to chew on anything is growing, he is learning new ways to get a wanted
victim item into his mouth.