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Posted July 23, 2010
In her children's book, 'Don't Call Me Names: Learning to Understand Kids with Disabilities,' author C.W. Graham uses poetic rhyme enhanced with illustrations to tell a story that is designed to help young children understand other children with disabilities. The book teaches children not to fear or tease children with disabilities, but instead, understand and appreciate their differences. The fundamental goal of the book is to promote respect, compassion, and friendship with children who have disabilities.
In the book, Graham presents a number of children with various disabilities that includes: hearing impaired, Muscular dystrophy, Autism, visually impaired, and a child born with a disability that makes her much smaller than other children her age. Within each child's story, Graham gives a description about each disability and how it affects each child in their daily lives. She underscores how each disability affects how each child functions in normal daily activities, and that the children are still like other children, but have to make adjustments in how they learn and play. Messages are conveyed about treating children with disabilities such as, 'Always treat others as you want them to treat you.' At the end of the book, Graham provides a summary of the messages of the book, a glossary, a discussion guide, model questions, and a list of website resources.
'Don't Call Me Names: Learning to Understand Kids with Disabilities,' is an imaginative and fun book to help children learn about children with disabilities. The text, written in a lively poetic rhyming scheme, and the images which are beautifully illustrated with vibrant colors depicting happy and fun loving children, helps children to understand and remember the important messages. As well, it conveys the concept that there is no need to feel uncomfortable or nervous around a child with a disability. It sends the message that being different is something that should not be feared as we all have our differences which is what makes each of us unique.
C.W. Graham delivers a well-crafted book about helping children understand and appreciate children with disabilities. It is a fun and easy to read book that is highly recommended for parents to read and discuss with their children. As well, it is an excellent teaching resource for teachers. 'Don't Call Me Names: Learning to Understand Kids with Disabilities' is highly recommended for parents and teachers who want to teach children about accepting and embracing people with disabilities.
Tracy Roberts, Write Field Services
Posted July 10, 2010
Reviewed by: Beth Adams
Title: Don't Call Me Names
This is an excellent teaching tool for children that paves the way towards acceptance for those of us who have various forms of disability. "Don't Call Me Names" is about kindness and compassion. When children see people noticeably different, this book teaches them we are all the same in many ways and everyone should always be treated with respect.
If a picture is worth 1,000 words, then the superb illustrations by Kristy Lyons has a higher word count than the galley text so poetically written by C. W. Graham in her book, "Don't Call Me Names." However like peanut butter & jelly, they work better together than each on their own, forming a synergy of sensory stimulation for young minds. Move over Dr. Seuss, although Green Eggs & Ham may make a kid chuckle, Chad, Missy and Zach will teach your child kindness, respect for handicapped children, and very important lessons of understanding the differences some children have.
In "Don't Call Me Names," author C. W. Graham uses a pleasant varying meter foot to her verse, with a catchy Ogden Nash-ish light heartiness, and an economy of words getting right to the point. Her maternal instincts are self evident, as a parent or loved one would echo her words repetitively, after reading this book to their children, as kids learn such necessary lessons.
The duet of poetry and pictures has a harmony to the reader, as turning each page reveals a new chapter about another disability. The images along with the associated poetry convey a sense of comfort, disarming the shock for children when they inevitably see other children with disabilities out in public. The vocabulary of each condition is artfully and semantically defined to promote cognitive understanding for young, growing minds. Understanding is the foundation for compassion. Treating others as you would like to be treated yourself, a lesson we all have heard many times, in many ways, is told in yet another way in this beautifully bound book of childhood poems.
Like a dozen roses tossed upon a stage after an exquisite performance, C. W. Graham places twelve words in a Glossary, at the end of her book, along with other aids to further enable dialogue and discussion. Exquisitely printed by e-Merge Publishing, this book is a treat for the senses with the excellent quality and attention to detail. As one of her poems says, "Now meet Blair, and before you stare, let's hear his story; it's only fair," I found myself staring at this book for literally hours marveling at what seems so simple yet is done so elegantly.
Posted February 20, 2010
A lovely little book for children that teaches the reader about accepting and respecting the children who may be different from them. Mini-chapters
cover various disabilities--see the illustrations on the cover. Understandable, fun and a good starting point for discussion about acceptance. Written with love by a Mom of an exceptional child.
I intend to purchase a few more for the local elementary school libraries--if we can teach our children the values and attitudes presented in this book, perhaps we adults can be taught as well.