I love that ClaraBelle is giving children the chance to see that just because someone may have different abilities or needs than they do, it doesn't mean they're actually any different at all. The author tackles what many parents struggle to explain with grace and humor, and does it in a way that is easily understood and internalized by children (and adults) of all ages.
Meet Clara Belle Blue is a beautiful story, and (I know for you) it is very personal. At the same time, it is universal, because who among us is not “different” in a way that gets magnified beyond our humanity? You’ve written a very touching story.
I have had the opportunity to review Meet ClaraBelle Blue and believe this is a wonderful, age appropriate and entertaining book for young children and families, particularly for pre-school aged children.
As an early childhood professional for over 20 years, I have first-hand experience reading books to children, as well as multiple opportunities to engage with young children about reading. Meet ClaraBelle Blue engages young children at their level. Young children can see themselves as a character in Meet ClaraBelle Blue; as ClaraBelle Blue or one of her friends.
Young children will enjoy the bright colors and illustrations of Meet ClaraBelle Blue. Children will enjoy the rhymes on each page; which is an important language skill for young children to develop. By providing real life scenarios, Meet ClaraBelle Blue provides children with examples of how a young child in a wheelchair is the same as a child capable of walking.
At the end of the story, there is a “seek and find”. This gives children and adults more opportunities to engage with the book; going back to find the pictures or reread the story so children can seek the hidden objects.
Most importantly, Meet ClaraBelle Blue gives a face or identity to “special needs” and perfectly illustrates inclusion. Meet ClaraBelle Blue demonstrates how children are different; yet the same. Additionally, Meet ClaraBelle Blue provides opportunities to discuss the topic of diversity with young children.
In our society, special needs and inclusion are mostly adult topics to discuss; which is difficult for many adults. Meet ClaraBelle Blue provides families a fun, entertaining and age-appropriate way to introduce and discuss, not only special needs, but similarities and difference among people and how we can all work/play together.
I highly recommend Meet ClaraBelle Blue to my colleagues and believe this is a wonderful story for all young children, families, child care programs.
I wish every child and parent could read this book. It shows how we’re all different with the same need for fun and love and we’re each doing the best we can - no one can do everything. Love, love, love this book, the art and the musical prose.
As a women's business author, I am always looking for creative new work that expands the vocabulary of consumers with respect to inclusion. As a mother of a daughter in kindergarten, it is always refreshing to discover bold new reflections of dynamic characters who happen to be girls. Meet ClaraBelle Blue embodies the best kind of literary discovery and is, in a word, a revelation.
Created entirely by women from the words and design to the illustration, Meet ClaraBelle Blue celebrates difference by illuminating how much we share in common. My daughter became fast friends with the fun, unstoppable title character, because she identified with her image, her exuberance and her loving, adventure-filled relationship with her mother. Knowing ClaraBelle and being part of her world will erase the trepidation or tendency toward pity kids often feel around children with special needs, without erasing the importance of acknowledging that those needs exist. I can only imagine how affirming and empowering this title is for families with ClaraBelles of their own. Hopefully, Adiba Nelson will extend the book to television or toy merchandise, providing a multidimensional experience of this phenomenal character.
Meet ClaraBelle Blue is a must for every young reader's collection.
Adiba Nelson’s sincere, easy narrative is a heartfelt exploration of patience, acceptance and understanding—a most perfect way to introduce the concept of special needs to young children. ClaraBelleBlue’s abilities make it plain: “Everything you can do, I can do, too—let’s play!” What a delicious message to spread far and wide. Adiba’s deft touch does a fine job of delivering.
—Denene Millner, New York Times bestselling author and founder of MyBrownBaby.com.