Children's books

9th September 2005 at 01:00
WHAT'S IT LIKE? BLINDNESS. CANCER. DEAFNESS. DOWN'S SYNDROME. USING A WHEELCHAIR. By Angela Royston. Heinemann. pound;9.99 each

Pitched at children aged 5-7, each title discusses the condition, how it affects everyday life and how it can be treated.

There is detailed medical data, information on aspects of everyday life ("Some gardens are specially planted for blind people to enjoy") and lots of positive messages: for example, a blind person can become a train driver; and people in wheelchairs can play rugby or hang glide.

The "how you can help section" suggests: "If someone is pushing the chair do not talk to them about the person in the chair" - advice which is perhaps not as clear as it could be. But then advice such as "Do not lean on a wheelchair" is admirably direct.

One feature I liked is that the photographs and situations described deal with both adults and children. Also, the explanations of the different reasons for blindness, or the need for a wheelchair, are straightforward.

A brief list of websites and a basic glossary and index add to the books'

usefulness.

Kevin Harcombe

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