There is nothing nicer than getting cozy and reading a good book with your child – particularly when they carry a positive story.
Here is a list of seven great books that not only read well but also deliver powerful messages about cerebral palsy and disability in general.
1) Ceana Has CP by C. Fran Card (2006)
Age group: 3-7 years
The perfect book to read to younger children. It follows a day in the life of Ceana, a young girl born with CP, and her family. As well as being a fun read, it discusses the ways that life with children with CP can be inspiring.
Illustrated with realistic scenarios, it also has a fun game: an invitation for readers to find a hidden ‘CP-symbol’ located on every page.
2) What’s Wrong With Timmy? by Maria Shriver (2001)
Age group: 4-8 years
In this book, eight-year-old Kate meets a boy called Timmy who seems a bit different to other kids. He takes longer to learn, and can’t walk or run as well as she can.
But after talking to her mom, Kate understands that Timmy is just like her: he wants to form friendships, go to school and has dreams for the future.
3)Taking Cerebral Palsy to School, by Mary Elizabeth Anderson (2000)
Age: 5 upwards
Here we follow the adventures of Chad, a boy with CP, and his classmates. This book is written from Chad's perspective and answers lots of the questions that peers and classmates might have, but are too uncomfortable to ask.
So not only is it good reading for children, but it’s also useful for teachers, nurses, carers and parents as well, as within you will find a lot of information about CP and the experience of living with the condition.
4) Don’t Call Me Special: A First Look at Disability by Pat Thomas (2002)
Age: 4-7 years
This picture book for pre-school and early school kids explores questions about physical disability and explains how those affected live full lives.
The author Pat Thomas is a psychotherapist and counselor, and her aim is not only to enable children to find out about disability but also to encourage positive interaction between children and carers – indeed, the book has a special page of advice for parents and teachers.
5) I’m The Big Sister Now, by Michelle Emmert (1989)
Age: 9-12 years
This book is about Michelle and her older sister Amy, who has been diagnosed with severe CP. Michelle talks about what life is like being a sister to Amy, and in doing so, shows her pride and love.
With excellent pictures, this is a book that will benefit both disabled and non-disabled alike – especially siblings - and which shows with honesty the joys and obstacles associated with having a family member with CP.
6) He’s My Pony! (Pony Pals) by Jeanne Betancourt (2001)
Age: 7-10 years
For an older reading group, He’s My Pony! follows the story of Christine, who loves horses but has been unable to experience the joys of riding due to her CP. Her ‘Pony Pals’ convince her to try lessons, but she’s worried about it until she meets a pony called Acorn, who belongs to Anna.
As well as showing the benefits of equine therapy methods, this book also covers emotional issues such as jealousy.
7) Howie Helps Himself, by Joan Fassler (1991)
Age: 4-8 years
Howie, a boy with CP, goes to school, plays games and has a loving family but wants more than anything in the world to be able to move his wheelchair by himself. To show the value of perseverance, just as Howie is about to give up, he pushes himself all the way to his father.