Thursday, April 4, 2013

Review: Can't and Able Children's Book

Daniel Stevens, Illustrator

* I received a copy of this book from the author for review. No compensation was given. The opinions in this review are mine, Junior's and a few other children. * 

When I opened the envelope containing this children's book the first thing that caught my eye was this beautiful cover. The illustrations in this book are amazing. Mr Stevens did a wonderful job. The children who shared this book with me loved them. The most popular illustration was the final one.  The book was shared with children 5 -8 in age. Some had special needs and you all know Junior is on the spectrum. 

The book opens with a poem written by David Higgins. At the bottom it stated he wrote the poem in 6th grade. This was copied by an 8 year old to hang on her wall. It is a wonderful poem that describes the spirit of this book. Here it is.

Little Star
David Higgins
from the book Can't and Able by Cynthia Fabian

Shine bright little star
Never forget what you are
Have hopes that are high
You will stay in the sky
Go your path, find your way
Look straight forward, you wish, you may
Little star, life is long
Your glow will last, your will is strong
So shine bright little star, shine your light
Shine little star, for all in sight.

This is a story about a little star Can't who has a disability and  Able an old star who shines brightly. Can't is young, small and unable to shine bright. Able laughs at him and all the other stars join in. This bullying hurts Can't who goes off by himself. Later Able is injured and can't steps in for him. Can't turns into Can and even defends Able when Able gets bullied. 

This is a delightful non religious inspirational story. It held the children's attention. When it was read in a group, a few times some children interrupted to talk about it. I know when a book is a hit when it engages them. I also knew they were relating to it by the, "one time that happened to me."  
Junior: I like this book. Stars were mean to Can't but he turned into Can. I like that Can didn't laugh at Able. Lots of kids need to read this book so they know they can do whatever. Little kids who can't read yet will like the pictures. 

A few of the children, (I do not have permission to give their details): 

Boy 6 : I was laughed at and I was sad. It is hard to be nice when kids won't play with you. Maybe my teacher can read this to us.

Girl 8 : I like this poem so much. I am going to put it on my wall so I can read it before school every day. It tells me to keep my hopes up and not to let anything stop me. This book is important. Lots of kids get made fun of. It really hurts when people laugh at you. 

Boy 8: I was the bad star. But I won't be anymore. I didn't think it hurt. I was just laughing. 

Cynthia Fabian was a teacher, is an inspirational speaker and author. She states she grew up with a disorder. When she became a teacher she saw many children were struggling as she did with teasing and hurt feelings. She wrote this book so that children would learn to believe in themselves and be able to change their circumstances.  It is my opinion that she is on target with this book. It was entertaining and educational as well as inspirational. She gives presentations on various topics foe adults, teens and children as well as presentations on Epilepsy. She has also written the following books:

Orchestra in Our Brain: The Story of a Child with Epilepsy  Second Hand Art Those Sweet Nothings 

Daniel Stevens also illustrated the book Second Hand Art. 

For more information on Cynthia Fabian please her website
Her books are also available for purchase on her site. 

You can follow her on Twitter: @cynthia_fabian

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