Just Because ISBN: 9780745962351
Published by Lion Hudson Plc, 2010
There are still not nearly enough picture books featuring disabled children, but this one is a corker. Based on Ms Elliott's own two children, Toby and Clemmie, the text and jolly pictures show us Clemmie, the older child who is massively disabled, and Toby, her younger brother, who thinks Clemmie is wonderful just as she is. He knows she is never going to walk or talk or 'cook macaroni, pilot a plane, ...or do algebra.' He doesn't know why...'just because'. She's pretty, like a Princess, and she has beautiful big curly hair, she's never horrid like some sisters, and she can make Toby laugh. There are things she doesn't like, such as Toby's pictures of pigeons, and having her hair brushed, but she likes their pet bug because 'he tickles her hands'. Her wheelchair is great fun too, and 'last week we went to the moon on it.' Clemmie really likes big noises, even thunderstorms, and she is the one Toby likes to be with when the storm starts. She also doesn't mind that he bangs his drum or that he eats crayons. 'Sometimes I do these things just because.' The love between the two children is palpable, and Toby knows why this is so: 'Just because'. The children are almost doll-like in the pictures; lots of colour and round shapes make the illustrations cosy and fun . With recommendations from both Michael Rosen and Jacqueline Wilson, this is a book that should be in every primary school and lots of homes as well.