No One is Perfect and You are a Great Kid (Written by Kim Hix; Illustrated by Lee Dillingham)
February 25, 2009 in Creative Writing activities, Dillingham, Lee, Elementary Educators, Hix, Kim, Making Personal Connections, Personal Connections, Picture Book, Preschool to 1st grade teachers, Young Adult Novels Tags: children with behavior disorders, children with OCD, Kim Hix, Lee Dillingham, No One is Perfect and You are a Great Kid
This post is a little different today for two reasons: 1. I want to announce the winner of Weebeasts: Plight 2. I want to introduce an author, Kim Hix, to you. She is on her blog tour for her book, and this post today is written mostly by her!
And the winner is. . . .Shannon Cardonella! Shannon, thank you for your nice comments on the post about Weebeasts: Plight. You have won a free copy of the book.
Now on to today’s post. . .
Picture book for preschoolers through third graders (or even older depending on the child), realistic fiction
10-year-old boy as main character
Rating: This is a touching book, and it should be especially shared between parents and children with behavior disorders.
Short, short summary: Zack feels different from most people. He enjoys most days, but sometimes he gets mad and frustrated over small things. But the “small things” don’t seem so small to Zack. He has trouble controlling his emotions when he gets upset over everyday activities such as choosing teams if it doesn’t go the way he wants or expects. He can also become obsessed over things like wanting a hamburger, and then he can not think of anything else. But through it all, his mom supports him and reassures him that he is a great kid.
So, what do I do with this book? (Q & A with author, Kim Hix)
Kim, can you tell us briefly why you chose to write this book?
It came to me quickly after one of Zack’s “episodes” of becoming very upset, angry, and distraught because he could not complete a simple task to his perfection. He loses total emotional control, then afterward, he is so upset with himself. So this all happened one day, and he began with his usual questions, “Why am I like this? Why did GOD make me this way? Why are all the other kids perfect?” All difficult questions to answer. The idea for the book was a gift to him, for when he grows up and hopefully can look back on this childhood he has struggled in and realize how much he is loved, despite his challenges. The book was to let him know he is not alone in his suffering. We hoped other children would feel comfort from his story and realize they do not stand alone in whatever struggles or challenges they may face.
So, does Zack in the book suffer from a certain behavior disorder or mental illness?
Yes, the boy in the book is, of course, my son who is now almost 14. We began making the tours to doctors, specialists, therapists when he was about two-years-old, as I knew something was very wrong, almost from birth. Around the age of 18 months, he began having very lengthy, volatile rages over the most minor things. It was clear during these rages that something else was in control of him. He did not look the same. Once the episode was over, he would return to the sweet, cherub-faced, silly, loving, little boy we knew. It was obvious these were NOT temper tantrums; they were quite different. Anyway, he was first diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder nos (not otherwise specified), which means he had many of the symptoms, but not all. He lacked the high mania phase and mood disorder. Later he was diagnosed, and these stand correct today, of OCD/Tourettes Disorder/ADHD/PANDAS.
When teachers, parents, homeschoolers, or counselors use this book with their children, students, or clients, what are some activities they can do with this book? Are there any art, writing, or reading skill activities?
The book is witten as if Zack is there, talking to the child, and he asks thought provoking questions in order for the child (or children, if a group setting) to have the opportunity to express their thoughts and feelings. Many children feel different for a wide range of reasons, so the book is broad enough that any child should be able to relate to some aspect of the story. The story is to let kids know that they are special and unique just how they. Even if they are different, then that is okay, and they are not alone. Millions of children suffer with any number of disabilities from mental, physical, emotional, intellectual and more; but whatever they struggle with, they still want love, compassion, understanding and acceptance. Zack always thought he was the only kid in the whole world with problems, and we wanted to share our story so other children would know that they do not walk this journey alone. Some of his therapists, doctors and some special education teachers do use the book in sessions and class to read and discuss with their younger clients and students. It opens a line of communication for the child and seems to make it easier when they hear another kid say, “Hey, this is what happens to me. This is why I feel different, and it’s okay.” The children could use the story to draw pictures of how they may feel different, or they can compose a story with the same theme, which would allow them to express themselves in a way that would encourage some deep insight and thought.
Who should buy and use this book?
We hope anyone who loves a child who struggles with challenges of any kind would buy the book. Personally, I have not seen a book that speaks to a younger audience on this subject. It has also been heart warming and comforting to the parents who love children like mine, whose hearts break every day watching their child struggle. It offers hope, reassurance and a lesson in tolerance and acceptance. Of course, as mentioned above, anyone who works with special needs children would benefit from the message found within the book. I would like to end with a quote my mother gave me years ago. I read it every day and it has pulled me through some very difficult days when I thought we simply could not handle anymore chaos, rages, mood swings or bad news. It reads, “No child is an accident, for each child is given to the mother GOD intended.” It seems to make me cry and make me smile all at the same time.
Thank you, Kim, for talking with me today about your wonderful book. If you have a question about parenting a child with a behavior disorder, you can leave your question here for Kim today. If you have any suggestions of books, besides No One is Perfect and You are a Great Kid for children with behavior disorders, please leave a comment here and let us know.