Friday, November 15, 2013

We all need to celebrate each other's uniqueness!

Quote of the Day:  
               "Finishing a good book is like leaving a good    friend."  
                                               ~William Feather

After their son was born with a vascular birthmark covering the right side of his face, Martha and Grant Griffin, despite loving their son’s birthmark, realized that it made him the object of stares and comments. In order to make sure he knew he was special, the  Griffins wrote “Sam’s Birthmark,” the first book it their “What Makes Me Shine” series.
Approximately one in ten babies are born with some form of a vascular birthmark—hemangiomas, port wine stain, or a venous malformation. Early intervention is the key to treatment for both the physical and psychological health of the child. The Griffin’s want to help others celebrate what makes each child different and to bring awareness to vascular birthmarks.
This new book offers a straight-forward approach to explaining vascular birthmarks to children, discusses how everyone is different and why that should be celebrated, offers parents tips on how to discuss why every child is unique and special in their own way, discusses the importance of tolerance for others as an early anti-bullying message, and attempts to instill confidence in children by teaching them at an early age to accept their birthmark as “cool.”

Title:  Sam's Birthmark
Authors:  Martha and Grant Griffin
Illustrator: Mary Anne Smiley

This meaningful book, written in rhyme, tells the story of a very loved little boy who was born with a red mark on the side of his face.  His parents instill in him from the very beginning that his red mark makes him even more endearing to them.  One day a little girl named Amy meets up with Sam in the park and asks what that red mark is on his face.  She points out to him that the mark makes him different from everyone else.   Concerned, Sam goes home and opens up....

"At bedtime Sam asked his Mom, “Do I look different than the other kids do?” She replied, “Yes, you have a birthmark. It is one of the many things we love about you.”
“Every child has something about them that truly makes them shine. Will has freckles and Lydia can’t eat peanuts - they are also one-of-kind.”
“Cousin Elise wears glasses, and Beck has a birthmark, too. Your birthmark is what your friends and family find special about YOU!"
His mother's heartfelt response builds confidence in Sam for sure and when asked again about his mark by others he just grins and knows he is just the way he was designed to be and he likes it.
The illustrations are full of action and fun.  The watercolours drawings are vibrant, colourful and very appealing to kids.  I would recommend this book to teachers who can use it as a lesson of acceptance for others no matter what they look like.  It would also be a wonderful gift to give to a family in a similar situation enabling them to read together and empowering them to celebrate the uniqueness of their beautiful child.

About the illustrator:

Mary Anne Smiley is  one of the top designers in Dallas.  However, her passion is illustrating a childrens book and she did the watercolor drawings for us. Here is a sample:

Mary Anne Smiley Illustration

                                                      Book Review Rating:  8 (Fantastic!)

                        READ ON AND READ ALWAYS!  Celebrate your uniqueness today!  

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