'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Sunday 21 November 2021

Review: What Happened to You?

In What Happened to You? Joe just wants to play pirates.

It's his favourite game, full of sharks and crocodiles. And just like some pirates, Joe's only got one leg.

Joe would love to have other children join him to play. However, children can be incredibly curious, and curiosity isn't always subtle.

Other kids always ask Joe what happened to him, why he only has one leg, and Joe hates being asked about it. 

He doesn't like the intrusive or silly questions people ask either.

Legs don't fall off, or get stolen, or hidden. And having one leg has nothing to do with lions!

Joe gets so fed up with questions from the other kids, he just gets on with playing pirates. 

Soon enough, the kids are focused on playing pirates and fighting the sharks and crocodiles, too. And later, after spending time with Joe, they come to realise that asking Joe about his missing leg isn't necessary, and Joe is just like them anyway.

James Catchpole has used his own lived experience to create a wonderful story that about visible disability. It encourages us to see people first, not disability. At the back of the book James has a message for adults with advice about responding to children if they want to know about people living with a disability, and educating them generally about it.

James wanted to write this story about Joe to provide reassurance and empowerment, and to raise and encourage awareness and understanding. What Happened to You? is certainly a book that will be helpful in doing that for all children, and adults. 

Read what James Catchpole has to say about 'Why it's important to talk to kids about disability'.

Title: What Happened to You? 
Author: James Catchpole
Illustrator: Karen George
Publisher: Faber , $ 24.99
Publication Date: May 2021
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9780571358304
For ages: 4+
Type: Picture Book