Source: Loving Healing Press
Paperback, 52 pages
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The Princess Panda Tea Party: A Cerebral Palsy Fairy Tale by Jewel Kats, Illustrated by Richa Kinra, is a fairy tale in which a stuffed panda comes to life to help young Michelle find the self-confidence within to achieve her goals and brush off the insults and meanness of the other girls in the orphanage. The illustrations will remind older readers of the pictures that once accompanied our own fairy tales. Rather than have the typical beauty and able-bodied young girl as the protagonist, Kats has a smart protagonist with cerebral palsy. Josephine is the mean girl in this tale, and Princess Panda is the fairy godmother.
“Panda Bear Princess patted the beautiful horse. The pink pads of her stuffed paw tapped at his sides twice. Just like that, magical wings appeared.” (page 20)
Michelle merely needs more self-confidence. While she is different and has many physical challenges, she comes to realize that there is more to her than what is on the surface. The toy she’s been longing for at the Salvation Army store, which she finally has the money to purchase, is ready to help in any way she can. While the story text is a little long, my little reader who is only three was riveted by the magical story and the pictures as I read to her. She loved how Michelle found the strength, with the help of Princess Panda, to practice and achieve her goals despite her physical limitations. One of her favorite parts of the story was the beautiful Princess Panda and her magical powers — no surprise there.
The Princess Panda Tea Party: A Cerebral Palsy Fairy Tale by Jewel Kats, Illustrated by Richa Kinra, is a story about overcoming challenges, and while there is no explanation of what cerebral palsy is or how it occurs, the book can become a stepping stone for parents and kids to learn about the disease. Parents should be prepared to answer questions about Michelle and her disease and to teach their own children that making fun of those who are different is not only mean but also makes them look bad in the eyes of others.
About the Author:
Once a teen runaway, Jewel Kats is now a two-time Mom’s Choice Award winner. For six years, Jewel penned a syndicated teen advice column for Scripps Howard News Service (USA) and The Halifax Chronicle Herald. She gained this position through The Young People’s Press. She’s won $20,000 in scholarships from Global Television Network, and women’s book publisher: Harlequin Enterprises. Jewel also interned in the TV studio of Entertainment Tonight Canada. Her books have been featured in Ability Magazine (USA) twice. She’s authored eight books-five are about disabilities. The Museum of disABILITY History celebrated her work with a two-day event. Jewel has appeared as an international magazine cover story four times! Recently, her work was featured in an in-depth article published in “The Toronto Star”. Jewel’s work has also appeared as an evening news segment on WKBW-TV and on the pages of “The Buffalo News”.