Returning from the Salone del Libro 2016 in Turin, we could only notice the growing space dedicated to children's literature, when in the real world it is so difficult to find reading tips aimed at the needs of families with special children. But a careful and generous mother in the community of the families of FightTheStroke He created for us this precious selection of readings, a story that thus injces:

' The day you receive the diagnosis of your child's disability, for a moment, you die.

The executioner lowers his arm and the blade of the guillotine recides your head from the body, as if he divided your life into two parts: the pre-and the post-encounter-with-the handicap.

Almost immediate is the reaction; For your son you have to and you can be strong, remove nails, show teeth. And here you start documenting yourself, consulting with doctors, professors, therapists... Stuff to make you worthy of honorary degree in medicine. This is the difficult and demanding carousel of super-specialist medical examinations and rehabilitation raids, where you learn to launch stimulating and therapeutic bombs from all over the place.

After about a couple of years, finally, comes the time of acceptance of the disability of your child, who, with his eyes moist and large as a kid, implores you to make him live a carefree life, normal, happy and enough. And, suddenly, realize that there are also the mother-and-dad-therapy, the brothers-therapy, the joy-therapy, the game-for-the-taste-of-play-therapy, the Normo-therapy and, magic of the spells, the fable-therapy.

From personal experience, I found in the literature a powerful ally, able to answer difficult questions, to dissolve important knots, to soothe and reassure children with special needs and different, but all in all very similar to those of all Children of the world.

For this I propose here a selection of books that you will find useful:


Fog Stars

Sean Aaron

City Open Junior, 2005

The story tells of the encounters between a girl and Betta, a young woman suffering from muscular dystrophy, which besides not moving also has considerable difficulty in speaking. Not to communicate, though. After a first moment of loss, of fear, almost, of the child, the two meet up to be understood even with the simple glance, until the child becomes silent and immobile, and "talkative" and "dynamic" the young Betta.


Mole, snail, fish

Guido Quartz

Fatatrac, 1997

"He saw almost nothing, so his friends called him mole..." "To run just was not capable: for the truth was slow in everything, slow to eat, slow to write, slow to dress..." "She was sure that if she only wanted to, she would talk like everyone..." These are the phrases with which the three tales of this new work by Guido Quartz begin in which the author touches on the very delicate theme of the "different" or, if we want, of the handicap. The three children protagonists of the tales speak a language of their own, in which adults have little or nothing and where instead you give voice to the internal interlocutor, what does not judge but listen, does not pose questions but lets everyone live their own rhythms and dreams. Age: 8-11 years.



The five Maldeeds

Beatrice Alemagna

Topipittori, 2014

The five maldeeds are five strange types: one is all laundry; One is bent in two, like a letter to be sent; Another is all soft, always half asleep. Another one is upside down so that you have to put yourself to the air in order to look at your face. And let's forget the fifth, wrong from head to toe: a catastrophe. They live together, these beautiful originals, in a house: Obviously, crooked. And what do they do? Nothing, but nothing at all... Until one day in the midst of them, as a punishment of divine, Swits, he: the perfect. Reading Age: for 4 years.



The world is also of Tobias

Elena Spanish Fritze

Lapis, 2009

Tobias, like a little Prince, is on the trail of his destiny and along with his mother Lancelot faces giant children, small elves and bad queens. Because the world is also Tobias. Age of reading: for 5 years.



La She-Devil

Marie Ndiaye

Mondadori, 2002

Tap, tap, what's that noise in the woods? She is the devil who goes from house to house in search of her lost child. Search everywhere, relentlessly and looking everywhere. His eyes are sad, but hopeful: every time he hears the voice of a child in a house he hopes it is his. But people are afraid of her, because instead of feet she has hoofs and fears that the devil wants to hurt them. So when they find a little girl in the village who limps, they drive her out of fear that she is the daughter of the devil. Age of reading: for 6 years.



The difference is not a subtraction: children's books and disabilities

Silvana alone, M. Terrusi

Lapis, 2009

IBBY Italy has urged university professors, researchers, scholars, writers, illustrators, publishers, bookmakers, librarians and invited them to a collective reflection on the subject of the book for Children in relation to disability. Down syndrome, dyslexia, Asperger's syndrome, blindness, deafness, walking difficulties enter children's books, stories, essays, interviews. The volume does not offer reliable answers, but suggests paths of knowledge and sense, opportunities and experiences focused on recognizing the irreplaceable role of the book as a privileged tool for the relationship between adults and children.



The band of Crocodiles

Grün, Max von der

Torino, EGA, 2003



On the run with her aunt

Sylvia Heinlein, Anke Kuhl

Sao Paulo editions, 2012

Aunt Ubalda is small and round. He looks like a nice plump elf who always wears pink. She is Sara's favorite aunt and is simply the funniest, most cheerful and sympathetic person she has ever known. Every Wednesday she goes to see her in the handicapped community she lives in. Sara's mom thinks that all this is a waste of time and when she decides, without listening to anyone, to transfer her sister elsewhere, Sara is not there and runs away with her aunt. During the escape Aunt Ubalda has one of his crises and, when everything seems to precipitate, comes the most unexpected rescue: a pair of punk, rat and Nena, and the Tramp Carletto offer them refuge in a former chocolate factory transformed into a studio of artists. When Sara's mom finally manages to find them, she has a way to think about what has happened: maybe you can't keep everything under control, maybe you have to listen to others, maybe you have to accept them for who they are. The journey of Sara and Aunt Ubalda, a fun story on the road. An unpredictable book that teaches you to defend with strength and courage what you love. Reading age: from 8 years



The saucepan of Antonino

Carrier Isabelle

Antonino is a child who always drags his saucepan behind him, it is not known very well why. One day he fell on his head and since then Antonino is no longer like all the others... She has to sweat a lot more, and sometimes she would like to get rid of the pot, or hide inside. One day Antonino meets a special person who makes him understand the only way to be happy: pull the head out of the saucepan and use it to express all its qualities. Reading Age: for 4 years.



It's okay if...

by Isabella Paglia, Francesca Cavallaro

It's okay if you have a long nose, you're as small as an ant, you're colored like a chameleon, you wear glasses... It's okay if you arrive first or last, if you have been adopted, if you have a traditional family or if your family is very singular... Because there is not one child and one human being equal to the other and there are no wrong children or human beings. Every difference is a potential, every difference is something to live serenely and proudly. "It's okay if..." It is a book that through a series of nice drawings and cheerful and colourful characters wants to be a help to face the theme of the different from oneself. Different physical, linguistic, aesthetic, different and enough, but not for this discriminated. Reading Age: for 4 years.



The point

by Peter H. Reynolds (author), M. Barigazzi (translator)

"Make a point, a simple point and then look where it leads you." Vashti says he doesn't know how to draw. His teacher doesn't think so. You know that there is a creative impulse in each of us, and where there is a point there is a beginning. Age of reading: for 5 years.




by Leo Lionni (author), M. Marconi (translator)

Pezzettino is looking for his own identity. It is so small, in fact, compared to his friends-all big and big, able to fly, swim, climb-which is convincing to be a bit of someone else. So begins a search that, in the end, will lead him to exterminate the height of amazement and happiness: "I am myself!". Reading Age: for 4 years.



I'm not like the others

by Janik Coat

The hippos love bathing in the mud and the piranhas are carnivorous, but Archimede prefers his jacuzzi and Horace is a vegetarian... The animals of Janik Coat are quite different from others. Age of reading: from 3 years.



To embrace no one

by Arianna Papini

Damiano meets the mysterious child at the kindergarten and immediately born in him a moving brotherhood moved by the curiosity that his adopted child's story runs towards the child affected by autism. Together the two children, during the stretch of road of life that share, exchanging affection, play, sadness and cheerfulness.




by R. J. Palacio (author), A. Orcese (translator)

It is the story of Auggie, born with a tremendous facial deformation, which, after years of being protected by his family for the first time, faces the world of school. How will it be accepted by the comrades? By the teachers? Who will sit next to him in the cafeteria? Who's going to look right in the eye? And who's going to sneak a peek at him? Who will do anything to not be seated near him? Who will be his friend? An unfortunate but tenacious protagonist, a wonderful family, some real friends will help Augustus during the school year that he'll end in a triumphant way for him. The story of a child who finds his role in the world. The book is divided into eight parts, each narrated by a character and introduced by a song (or a quotation) that makes it the background and soundtrack, creating a polyphony of sounds, feelings and emotions. Reading age: 13 years.



You point out, finally, through this link, the precious activity of IBBY, which periodically selects books of great thickness on and for the disability:

Good reading at all!


This guest POST was curated by Elena Tantardini to whom our thanks are.


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