Catherine’s Story

 Author:  Genevieve Moore

Illustrators: Karin Littlewood

Theme: Disability  

Age Range: 5-7 years

Opening Page:   Catherine is a special girl and she can do special things.  Catherine has a special walk too.

Jacket Flap:  What makes Catherine so special?  Lots of things, says Catherine’s dad.  She can clap her hands quietly so that no one can hear.  She walks smoothly in boots no one else can walk in.  And she’s a really good listener….

Synopsis:  Based on the authors niece this beautiful, tender story helps young readers understand that we should look on those with disabilities not as different, but as special.   Catherine’s dad gently points out to Frances, Catherine’s cousin, the special things Catherine can do, even allowing Frances to try and walk in the special shoes Catherine has to wear to enable her to walk aided.  Frances falls over , realising Catherine can do things, she herself cannot.  Catherine cannot talk but she can listen, not many of us take the time to listen carefully to others even if, like Catherine we do not understand.  Throughout this story one feels the special bond between father and his precious daughter. 

Why I liked this:  The first thing that attracted me to this story was the love this father had for his daughter, which brought  tears to my eyes (not having seen or spoken to my own father since my teens) it touched me greatly.  This is Genevieve’s first Picture book and she has done a wonderful job of making us want to turn the page to learn more about Catherine.  A “Note” in the back of the book refers to Genevieve’s niece whom Catherine is based on, who suffered from a kind of epilepsy known as infantile spasms or West Syndrome, which left her profoundly and multiply learning disabled.  She is unable to walk, talk or perform any normal daily living activities including feeding or dressing herself.  Karen Littlewood from England’s beautiful painted illustrations are well researched with authentic expressions of a little girl in a world of her own.   This is a lovely story of “hope”.

Resources/Links:   A couple of blogs I found give research, advice and support groups to parents…..  http://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/GARD/Condition/7887/West_syndrome.aspx


The following website has some links for living with epilepsy and resources..


A lovely Blog with wonderful reviews of Books dealing in coping with Disabilities within the family, and researched resource links is  ….   http://childrensbooksheal.com/

For more books with resources please visit the lovely author Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog and find the tab for  Perfect Picture Books.    Her blog is full of resources links and activities associated with the books reviewed by many authors.

About Diane Tulloch

Known also as the Patientdreamer I am a writer who loves to dream, and is passionate about writing stories for the young so that they may join me in the wonders of adventure in countries and cultures afar, and in special moments to remember.
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  1. This is a fantastic find, Diane. I have always liked the concept of seeing someone as special rather than simply different, because such disabilities bring out such unique gifts! We know Pat will love this one! Super choice for classrooms and homes.

    • Yes I liked the concept to Joanna. When reading through and turning the pages her expression makes you want to hug her. I immediately thought of Pat when I saw this. So glad you approve of the choice, yes it certainly would make a good learning tool and discussion topic in the classroom. Thankyou Joanna.

  2. Catherine Johnson says:

    And isn’t that picture of Catherine on the front so thoughtful. You really want to get to know her already. I love any book that teaches about listening too, it is so important. Good for kids to accept children with disabilities too.

    • Yes you really want to hug her. Thankyou for your kind comment Catherine it certainly is the type of book we need plenty of, to help kids accept and understand others with disabilities.

  3. I like books like this. It is important for kids to learn that not all people are the same. I like how this book shows there are special things about kids with disabilities and that they can do somethings I can’t. That is a very good message!

    • Thankyou so much Erik. I am always interested in your views. It’s great to see kids find the positives rather than focus on the negatives… it’s very easy these days for kids, through not understanding, treat people differently because of their disability.
      Thanks Erik.

  4. Julie says:

    It’s funny I was thinking exactly what Joanne said – that Pat will love this entry! An important message of acceptance for all children.

    • Yes I know Julie, I actually was talking to Pat the other day and mentioned I would be posting this story I was refering some other stories and author to her at the time. This is right up Pat’s alley and I know she would love it. I agree, great message. Thankyou.

  5. Julie says:

    Sorry – I meant JoannA 🙂

  6. Pat WILL love this one 🙂 I guess we all recognize her taste in books 🙂 I’m so glad you found this book and posted it – we don’t have too many about special needs children, and it’s an important and sensitive topic that can be hard to discuss. Books like this can be very helpful to parents, teachers and kids. Thanks for adding it to our list! 🙂

  7. Yes Pat’s blog and her focus is widely known, she has cornered a great niche for herself. We have even passed authors over to one another knowing the benefit the other will get out of the research as well as posting the reviews. She’s a great friend and I applaud her vision. We certainly do need more books like this one with its sensitive topic. Thankyou so much Susanna, so glad you approve.

  8. Tracy Bermeo says:

    I know I could learn a thing or two from Catherine as I probably don’t do enough listening. I have to say I’m loving these books about accepting differences in others. Maybe we need a Finding Strength in Differences week during National Book Month in October. Excellent choice Diane.

    • Thankyou Tracy, glad you like the choice. You know, we have a young man who comes into our Shop and he chatters away non stop (he has a disorder but not sure what it is exactly), Usually making no sense, sometimes very loud when making funny noises, it’s his way of staying calm. He is on medication to and is aware if he has slipped up taking it. It’s amazing the different reactions people take to him. He is in nearly everyday and so we are used to him. Because I am new, he is slowly getting to know me, and approaching me. Everything in small steps, and just accepting this is who he is, makes all the difference.

  9. What a terrific choice, Diane. I’m really drawn by the father-daughter relationship, too. Sounds very touching indeed.

    • Thankyou Renee. Yes it was this bond between father and daughter and his love and understanding that this is his little girl, no matter what… that really touched me. Glad you loved it to.

  10. Beautiful selection Diane. It sounds like a very tender and moving story about love and acceptance. I have a number of friends with young children who have seizure disorders (hundreds daily) that are in this situation. I’ll pass along the book info to a couple of parents. You won’t believe this, but I couldn’t decide which review to run today. I also had a special needs book prepared. At the last moment, I changed my mind, and decided to post another story that has been waiting its turn. Glad I did. Great review!

    • Oh my Pat to be in a situation of having to choose…haha. You know I remember you once were concerned that you were boxing yourself in with your specific focus and not reaching many people. Somehow I don’t think you need worry about that. There is an outcry for these type of books and a blog like yours. Just by the comments here I can tell people are very aware of your writing choices and no doubt will pass whatever they come across, be it resources, research material, groups and blogs for you to tap into. Genevieve is another author you might like to tap into.
      Thankyou also for passing on the book information, I hope it has been helpful. Thankyou for your lovely comment Pat.

  11. Diane, Thanks for introducing me to this book. I’m going to see if I can find this one as it sounds like a lovely story and a wonderful way to look at how each person is special.

  12. I am sure you will love it Stacy. It sure has a lovely message. Thanks.

  13. I am so happy you brought this book to my attention. It’s nice to have good resources to refer to when my children have questions about people with disabilities.

  14. Heather says:

    Thank you for finding a book about special needs children that doesn’t treat them as something scary to be tolerated or as if they’re not really children because they follow their own very unique path. That’s a pet peeve of mine with most books of this genre and I won’t have them in my home. This one sounds beautiful and I’m so glad you shared it.

    • Thankyou Heather. So pleased you liked this choice. It’s a shame when people don’t stop to think. What if the role was reversed, how would they like to be treated? I came across this book quite by chance and was going to hand it over to a writing buddy of mine, you might like to take a look at her blog and her reviews at …. http://childrensbooksheal.com/

      • Heather says:

        Pat’s site! Yes, she has amazing recommendations on her blog. People, unfortunately, don’t often stop to think about how they treat people who have special needs. It’s something we deal with frequently with our two younger boys when we are out in public. I’m grateful that the quality of books in this genre is improving!

  15. Awesome selection! And what a great teaching tool. We have a son who was born with a rare brain disorder so we know a lot about disabilities. And how other children can be so hurtful. If they understood more, maybe it wouldn’t be so. I’m writing a picture about my son. I hope I can fid this. Thank you so very much. 🙂

    • Thankyou for your lovely comment Robyn. I hope you find this book. So pleased to hear you are writing a picture book about your son…. will look forward to reading it when it’s published. I hope you will allow me to review it. Thanks for stopping by and hope you will continue to stop in.

  16. Amy Dixon says:

    I have nephews with disabilities and am always looking for books that address these issues. Can’t wait to have a look at this one. Thank you!

  17. Thank you, Diane, for a lovely review of a wonderful book that will be helpful to parents and children with and without special needs. As adults, we are such important role models for young children…they watch our every facial expression and observe our attitudes towards others…perhaps this book will help parents and teachers and other adults to better understand and accept the uniqueness of every individual…so they can pass on that understanding and acceptance to the children they are connected with.
    So nice to see a book that highlights the wonderful bond that can exist between a father and a daughter, but that, as you are painfully aware of, often does not occur. Thank you for sharing, Diane. 🙂

    • Thankyou Vivian for your comments. I am so glad you enjoyed my choice for this friday. It’s true we surpose to be role models for children and set good examples but I think many people forget or are just ignorant of how their reactions will transpire to others, especially children. I loved this book because the Father has such patience and love, and so wants to ensure that others understand why his daughter is so special, that her qualities are real and a delight. We are ALL special, ALL unique. Thankyou Vivian.

  18. Nice choice. This sounds incredibly helpful and sweet. Thanks for the review. I have added it to my “want to read” list.

  19. Genevieve Moore says:

    Hello Diane

    Thank you for taking the time to read and review my lovely niece Catherine’s story. Your response was heartwarming.

    All the best
    Genevieve Moore

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