I’m sure we’ve all known classmates who had some sort of disability or some quirk that made them different. Such children are often teased or ostracized for inconsequential differences. Fear of the unknown often makes people uneasy.
Thankfully, educators are striving to teach students that having some sort of difference is all right. Whether it’s poor vision, as I suffered teasing for, or a large nose, kids are being taught that we all have the same needs and feelings.
I love Janis Cox’ new book, Tadeo Turtle. This poetic picture book tells the story of a youngster who wishes he could be rid of his heavy shell and play like other forest creatures. I totally identify with Tadeo because I longed to join in the games of the neighbourhood kids and students at school. My poor vision always got in the way of my desires, as did the attitudes of children and grown-ups alike.
As I’ve finally have done, Tadeo came to accept his shell and value it. What was once a distressing handicap has become an asset for the both of us. The message is simple but profound. God loves us and has made us the way we are for his good purpose.
The pictures in Tadeo Turtle are beautiful as well. Cox used water colours to give the scenes in the book a special quality. I’m impressed with their loveliness. It’s as if the scenes are almost real. Parents and pre-school children alike would enjoy this charming story and the evocative paintings in this book.
At the back of the book are activities for children related to the story. With a little help from their parents, kids can become involved in making their own turtles.
For more information on Tadeo Turtle, visit Janis Cox’s page. For my own story of growing up with poor vision, visit the Bruce Atchison’s book page and read about Deliverance from Jericho: Six Years in a Blind School. It’s on the upper left hand side of the page.