How do children view disabilities? I think the answer to this question is often reflected in how their parent’s view them, which puts Sara Cook’s little boy, Milo, at a great advantage, as evidenced by Sara’s sensitive just released picture book, My Dad, the Superhero.
An imaginary scenario based on Milo’s real dad, Anthony Rainone, the simple story tells about a boy (and from the child’s perspective) who brings his dad to his school show and tell to show off his “magic” prosthetic leg. Included is a simple explanation of what a prosthetic is.
My favorite page pictures Tony holding his leg, surrounded by stars and exclamations as Milo says, “He has a magic leg! He can take it off and put it on!” I love how it captures the natural curiosity, awe, and delight of children, and I find it very believable. Milo doesn’t view the leg as a disability at all really, but as part of what makes his much-beloved Dad special. I think this is a very healthy perspective.
I also love the page where, after showing all the many things he could do, Tony says that he is grateful for his leg because it allows him to still do all these things. I like how his prosthetic is shown to be a positive thing.
One thing I thought was really neat that I didn’t see until the second or third time I went through the book was the dedication page: Sara financed publication of the book through crowdfunding, and apparently one of the incentives for a certain level of contribution was your name and the name of your own superhero, and there are 19 such dedications at the beginning of the book. I found that quite touching.
My 5 and 6-year-old reviewers give it two thumbs up. Sara lives in our town. This weekend we went to the library, and there was the book; we went to the grocery store, and there was the book. Each time, my kids excitedly pointed it out to me. Similarly, I am enthusiastically pointing it out to you. This book is for everyone. Find it on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.
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