HandiCAPABLE by Author Lisa Weldon with Illustrations by Niaren Binford

Author Lisa Weldon has written an important and inspiring book HandiCAPABLE. HandiCAPABLE’s main character is a  five year old little girl named Lola. Lola is wheelchair bound. She was raised by two wise and loving parents, to believe she was capable of doing anything she aspired to. Lola never feels sorry for herself instead she embraces life with joy, childhood wonder and wisdom beyond her years. She plays games with her four sisters and like her siblings does chores. Lola loves everything having to do with the princess theme. She believes herself to be a princess as opposed to being handicapped, and her wheelchair is known by all as the princess mobile.

HandiCAPABLE will resonate with adults as well as young people, it has many important lessons to teach. HandiCAPABLE is sure to inspire confidence, self esteem and an appreciation for each individual’s uniqueness and gifts. Everyone has special talents and gifts to share. Lola has interesting experiences and meets someone who does not share her same confidence and self esteem. You will have to read HandiCAPABLE to learn what and who they are.  I enjoyed this book from start to finish, and will undoubtingly revisit its pages and recommend it to others as an important learning tool. Niaren Binford HandiCAPABLE’S illustrator has done a wonderful job of creating beautiful illustrations!

HandiCAPABLE author Lisa Weldon with admiring readers and supports Bronx Book Fair 2015
HandiCAPABLE author Lisa Weldon with admiring reader attendees Bronx Book Fair 2015

Nearly thirty years ago lead by Cheryl Hudson Willis and her husband JUST US BOOKS, publishers of children’s literature was created. This husband and wife remain on the forefront working to insure publishers publish diverse books for children. Years ago when the Willis’ went to purchase books for their children (now adults) there were none with their children’s image. They set out to create and have successfully changed the old exclusive narrative, into one which is inclusive. Traditional large corporations are getting the message, but there’s a long way to go. HandiCAPABLE is not only a children’s book but an excellent tool for parents, teachers, clergy, and mental health professionals.

According to Kids Health.Org in the article Developing Your Child’s Self Esteem healthy self-esteem is like a child’s armor against the challenges of the world. Kids who know their strengths and weaknesses and feel good about themselves seem to have an easier time handling conflicts and resisting negative pressures. They tend to smile more readily and enjoy life. These kids are realistic and generally optimistic.

In contrast, kids with low self-esteem can find challenges to be sources of major anxiety and frustration. Those who think poorly of themselves have a hard time finding solutions to problems. If given to self-critical thoughts such as “I’m no good” or “I can’t do anything right,” they may become passive, withdrawn, or depressed. Faced with a new challenge, their immediate response might be “I can’t.” What is self esteem?

Self-esteem is similar to self-worth (how much a person values himself or herself). This can change from day to day or from year to year, but overall self-esteem tends to develop from infancy and keep going until we are adults. Self-esteem also can be defined as feeling capable while also feeling loved. A child who is happy with an achievement but does not feel loved may eventually experience low self-esteem. Likewise, a child who feels loved but is hesitant about his or her own abilities can also develop low self-esteem. Healthy self-esteem comes when a good balance is maintained.

Patterns of self-esteem start very early in life. The concept of success following effort and persistence starts early. Once people reach adulthood, it’s harder to make changes to how they see and define themselves.

So, it’s wise to think about developing and promoting self-esteem during childhood. As kids try, fail, try again, fail again, and then finally succeed, they develop ideas about their own capabilities. At the same time, they’re creating a self-concept based on interactions with other people. This is why parental involvement is key to helping kids form accurate, healthy self-perceptions.

Lisa Weldon is an author with vision, creating new paths which are diverse and inclusive. She’s working to change the image of persons who are HandiCAPABLE. I’m looking forward to further Lola adventures and future great books from author Lisa Weldon. Well done! HandiCAPABLE can be purchased at  www.Amazon.com.

©Lorraine Currelley 2015. All Rights Reserved.

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