Teaching friendship and inclusion - author of children's book has Mayo roots
A CHARMING new book that follows the story of a little girl, Juliette, with Down's Syndrome has been published by an author with Mayo roots.
A little bit EXTRAORDINARY is a 32-page hardback, beautifully illustrated children's picture book that tells a unique rhyming story.
The book helps all children to learn from an early age the concepts of kindness, compassion, empathy, forgiveness, friendship, inclusive education and celebrating difference.
It can help to prevent bullying and racism and it also has at the back a page of suggested discussion points for parents and teachers to share with children.
The book is a debut from author Esther Robinson whose mother, Christina Gahan (nee Gallagher, daughter of Michael and Christina Gallagher), hails from Killaturley, near Swinford. She now resides in Kilkenny.
Esther herself is based in Fermanagh and to date her book has won the Literary Titan Gold Award, and it continues to receive five-star reviews from teachers and parents.
Now on sale in Castle Bookshop, Castlebar, A little bit EXTRAORDINARY, said Esther, 'will be an asset to every child, parent, teacher, library and organisation supporting and educating people with disabilities'.
Her hope is that it will teach children to be inclusive of others.
On writing the book, she explained: “I was inspired to write the story after seeing my older brother Martin, who has a very rare genetic syndrome called WAGR, being bullied when we grew up in London and he had to attend a different school to me.
“My older son went to school in Fermanagh with a girl who has autism and communicates using Makaton, so one of the book illustrations features Makaton.
“My younger son attended nursery in Fermanagh with a little girl called Juliette, who has Down’s Syndrome, and she is the girl I based my book character on.
“Juliette’s parents said my book brought tears to their eyes and their family loves it. The headmaster of Juliette’s school told me my book is ‘fantastic’ and he has ordered a copy for each class at the school.
“I was invited as guest author to read the book to each class at a local primary school for Book Week.”
Esther has set up a website for the book and started a blog at: estherrobinson.co.uk.
She also has a Facebook page for the book at Esther Robinson - Author / Editor.