Since we have a family member that has Trisomy 18, it's important to me to have my kids understand that having disabilities doesn't make someone not special. They are special. Many kids and adults that have special needs touch the lives of others daily.
This adaptation of the classic Grimms’ tale includes the wicked witch and the poor siblings in search of food; but in this version Jewel Kats’ main character, Hansel, is a mischievous, yet courageous, five-year-old boy with Down syndrome. The original is pretty dark. I remember as a kid I was sort of scared of the story. In this version it's not as dark. Hansel does save the day!
I had Mica read this book to Isaak. Some of the words are too hard for Isaak to read. They both enjoyed the book.
"The fisherman interjected. 'You've always been too overprotective of the boy. He's not sick. He has Down syndrome. Let him go out in the world. At the very least, he can keep his sister company.'"
Young readers of the book will get the message that children with Down syndrome are capable and can achieve extraordinary success with determination.
Hansel’s story will also teach by example that people cannot be judged by appearance. So many people that have special needs are happy, giving, and love attention. Those are all good things that we should focus on.
I love Jewel Kats’ insightful story. The illustrations by Claudia Marie Lenart are so whimsical. I have a friend that makes fiber art, and it's neat to see that type of art put into a book.
Hansel and Gretel: A Fairy Tale with a Down Syndrome Twist
Publisher: Loving Healing Press
Series: Fairy Ability Tales
Author: Jewel Kats
Illustrator: Claudia Marie Lenart
ISBN-13: PB 978-1-61599-250-8 / HC 978-1-61599-251-5 / eBook 978-1-61599-252-2
Cost: Kindle $4.95, Hardcover $23.61, Paperback $14.36
Trim: 8.5 x 8.5 (44 pp)
Audience: 5-7 years
Pub Date: 10/01/2014
I feel like this book is great for anyone. Not just people that have special needs kids in their lives. I remember being in the hallways at school, and seeing kids that have special needs. I was afraid of them when I was little because I didn't understand their disabilities and abilities. A book like this would have made me feel more at ease with them. They to are just people. They often have a lot to offer!
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