Catherine's Story

( 1 )

Overview

What makes Catherine so special? She can't talk, and she can't walk like her cousin Frances can. But Catherine listens very closely, she walks in her special shoes, and her claps are so quiet that hardly anyone can hear them. These are some of the things that make Catherine special and, because her family knows how special she is, this makes them feel special, too?so Catherine's dad tells her as he puts her to bed. Just before he turns off the light, he sees Catherine smiling and clapping her hands. This ...

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Overview

What makes Catherine so special? She can't talk, and she can't walk like her cousin Frances can. But Catherine listens very closely, she walks in her special shoes, and her claps are so quiet that hardly anyone can hear them. These are some of the things that make Catherine special and, because her family knows how special she is, this makes them feel special, too…so Catherine's dad tells her as he puts her to bed. Just before he turns off the light, he sees Catherine smiling and clapping her hands. This beautifully illustrated and simply told story is about a girl with an unspecified disability who relies on others to help her do many ordinary things, but who offers them much love and happiness in return. Inspired by the author's own experience with her young niece, Catherine's Story is evocatively illustrated by a highly experienced artist who thoroughly researched the details of her subject's abilities and daily life. Best-selling author Jacqueline Wilson has provided a heartfelt foreword for a book that will stimulate discussion about special-needs children’s place in society.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Michele C. Hughes
Vivid, beautiful watercolor illustrations capture the story of Catherine, a fictional character based on a little girl who suffered from a kind of infant epilepsy that left her unable to speak, care for herself or understand much of what is said to her. Her father is her primary caregiver, and he tells her story by explaining Catherine's specialness to her cousin, Frances. He tells Frances about how only Catherine can walk as well in her special boots, listen as hard as she does or clap her hands so softly they don't make a sound. The author demonstrates the father's appreciation of Catherine's specialness and her family's abiding love for her. At the end of the story, her father reminds Catherine of how special and loved she is, and she responds from her heart. This story shows children the uniqueness and value of each person and the depths of a parent's love. Bright colors in the illustrations convey in the joy that Catherine brings to her family, despite her limitations in life. An author's note in the back of the book explains a bit about Catherine's condition for further understanding. Reviewer: Michele C. Hughes
School Library Journal
Gr 1–3—Catherine, who wears leg braces, has a special walk and a special way of clapping her hands (so quietly, no one ever hears them). Her cousin Frances thinks she can walk like Catherine but when she tries, she falls over. When she says that Catherine can't talk, Catherine's dad says, "lots and lots of people talk....too much....Catherine listens—really, really hard." Catherine is loved and valued. Her father seems to be a single parent with some involvement from a grandmother.The lovely watercolor illustrations capture joy and optimism. With subtlety and grace, they perfectly depict a child with disabilities. It is challenging to present such issues without seeming maudlin, and Moore has done this fairly well. However, in an effort to present some differences as positive abilities, there is sometimes an unrealistic overstatement of the importance of these traits. That said, this picture book is useful because of its value in generating needed discussion. An even better depiction of disabilities is Jane Cowen-Fletcher's Mama Zooms (Scholastic, 1996).—Mary Hazelton, Elementary Schools in Warren & Waldoboro, ME
Kirkus Reviews

An affectionate appreciation of a unique child. "Catherine is a special girl and she can do special things," the story begins. Moore leads the reader through Catherine's distinct attributes and her interactions with her family, using a curious cousin's visit to introduce Catherine to readers. She has a special walk and boots to help her (which her cousin can't help trying on and then discovers it's not so easy walking in them). Catherine can't talk, but it's clear from her reactions that she listens very hard. She claps in a special way, in tiny, quiet claps. And her parents and grandmother are there to support her at every turn. Littlewood's watercolor illustrations depict many warm family tableaux as well as the expressive Catherine alone, showing what makes her special. It's a sympathetic, straightforward and informative look at the world of one disabled child that's both clear and accessible to the very young. A concluding note explains that Catherine's disability is a type of epilepsy. (Picture book. 3-5)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781845076559
  • Publisher: Frances Lincoln Children's Books
  • Publication date: 7/29/2010
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 687,245
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 10.70 (h) x 0.40 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 29, 2010

    A much needed book!

    This book is beautiful in every respect from its touching and heart felt words to its dreamy yet no holds barred illustrations. It is important on so many levels and should be in every school and in every home library.

    Highly recommended.

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