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.