Saturday, September 11, 2010

My Feet Are The Wheel-Chair

Title : My Feet are the Wheel-Chair
Author : Franz-joseph Huainigg
Illustrator : Annergret Ritter
English Translator : Dr. Rekha Kamath
Hindi Translator : Arvind Gupta
Published in India by : Bharat Gyan Vigyan Samithi

I admire the books which sensitively deal with the issues of special children and how other normal people should behave around such individuals so as not to make the situation embarrassing or unpleasant for people on either side. But then this is just dealing with half side of the problem. Equally important is the attitude of the differently-abled person and his/her comfort level with the (ab)normality or uniqueness. This attitude removes all possibilities of having any kind of awkwardness.

And this is brought out beautifully in the book - My Feet Are The Wheel-Chair. Margrit is a little girl who cannot walk but she is independent, thanks to her wheel chair, which works as her legs. She is extremely happy this particular day as she has been asked by her mother to visit a super market on her own for the first time. But while on this trip she happens to have some sad and embarrassing encounters. She feels uncomfortable when some people continue to stare, some ask her about her disability, some pity at her, some help her preemptively without her asking for help. This all makes her very sad and very angry as she is not being treated like other children. But then she meets a special friend who is also a little different and who makes her understand - "You and I are different because you and I have something special."

Her friend manages to change Margrit's perspective and she actually starts feeling the happiness and joy of being in the outside world. Now she does not mind people staring at her or people asking her about her disability or anybody pitying at her. In fact, she is very comfortable telling them that she is handicapped and she cannot walk but can ride. And now she does not feel embarrassed asking for help like everyone else does sometimes. But most importantly she wants to convey how she is feeling and that is - No matter what her disability is, she is Happy, very Happy !!

Unfortunately no image of this book is available on the net.

13 comments:

ChoxBox said...

Wow Vibs, that sounds interesting.

Also, where does one get books by this particular publisher? I have been looking for one titled the Story of Physics by them for more than two years now.

Vibha said...

Thanks Chox.
I got this one from Sutradhar. But I didn't see any other book by this publisher there.
Here is their email address though
bgvsdelhi@gmail.com
You can try sending a mail to them.

d said...

hey i got this one from sutradhar too, and my 7 year old really took to it, and read it over and over.

Meera Sriram said...

Nice pick Vibha. Its wonderful to know that there are such books around. This one, at the end, seems to acquire the voice of "Why are you afraid to hold my hand" from Tulika...

ChoxBox said...

Thanks V. I in fact called them, but they don’t have any more copies and neither does Sutradhar :(

Also adding to what Meera says, Pratham’s ‘Chuskit..’ is similar as well.

sandhya said...

Forwarding this post to a friend who has a special child, and who works as a parent volunteer for an organisation dealing with special children. Thanks for this one, Vibha.

Vibha said...

Thanks everyone of you.
Chox, Meera ~ Yeah, these two books are also on similar lines. A little difference though. Here the main character changes her attitude and starts experiencing the difference in the whole world.

ranjani.sathish said...

Nice pick Vibha ! I think what this book deals about can be extended to even people with serious illness ...sometimes it becomes tough to even reach out to them if their attitude is a bit difficult.

Vibha said...

Thanks Ranjani and you are right, the same can be extended to people with serious illness. The attitude change gives a window through which they become more reachable.

the mad momma said...

wow. its so good to see books like these being made available to children. i wish i'd had one as a kid

the mad momma said...

wow. its so good to see books like these being made available to children. i wish i'd had one as a kid

Sheela said...

Wow, Vibha. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful books on a sensitive topic.

Vibha said...

mad momma ~ I totally agree with you. The children now are blessed to have such wonderful pool of books to select from.

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