Roxy the Raccoon: A Story to Help Children Learn about Disability and Inclusion (Truth & Tails Children's Books) ISBN: 9781785924514
Published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2018
Lots of great watercolour pictures, simple sentences and large black print help make this picture book accessible to everyone. Roxy the Raccoon lives at the bottom of a large tree, while two of her friends live near the top - Sammy the Squirrel and Cherry the Chipmunk. Another friend, Brad the Beaver, lives in his dam at the river. Roxy uses a wheelchair. We see this in the picture of her at the beginning, but there is no explanation of why she does so, and from the point of view of the story, there is no need. When Brad invites her to see his home, she is very pleased, but when she gets there, she realises she has no way to get to the top of the dam. Brad is sorry, but says he 'hadn't thought of that'. Disappointed in her visit to Brad, Roxy goes to see what Sammy is doing. He and his squirrel friends are kicking a ball around and invite Roxy to join them, but there is disappointment again because she can't kick balls. Again, Sammy 'didn't think'. When Cherry invites Roxy up to her tree house to see the wonderful sunset, there is no way that Roxy can manage such an invitation. What to do? Each of the animals in turn, in discussion with Roxy, comes up with a solution of how to include her in all that they do. Brad constructs a ramp with his big teeth so she can make her own way to the top; Sammy and his friends and Roxy decide they can play catch with the ball so they can all participate, and all three animals together make a sling for Roxy so she can hoist herself up the tree to enjoy the view with them all. The solutions are decided by Roxy and all her friends together, which is as it should be, and 'they all worked together to make sure that nobody in the forest ever felt left out again.' The moral of this well-constructed tale is that solutions to problems will always be possible if people work together and are willing to try. Wonderfully colourful and interesting, and there are notes for teachers and parents at the end. Available from Amazon, from good bookshops, an from the publisher: www.jkp.com.