Kids Books: My Friend Suhana
My Friend Suhana: A Story of Friendship and Cerebral Palsy
My Friend Suhanais a children’s book about a young girl’s friendship with a girl named Suhana who has Cerebral Palsy. This book written by Shaila Abudllah and her 10 year old daughter, Aanyah, is engaging and well illustrated. The pictures are colorful, and the text is simple enough to be read to a child age 5 and up. My 5 year old daughter really appreciated this book because she has met some of my own clients who have Cerebral Palsy and has enjoyed getting to know them. She especially loved the part when the main character painted a picture of a kite and wanted to give it to Suhana to make her feel loved.
The book is written from a perspective of a 7 year old girl who volunteers at the local community center. I enjoyed this book because it showed the readers that although “Suhana can’t walk, stand, talk or play”, she has feelings too and could express that in different ways (e.g. vocalizations, facial expressions). I appreciated that the author took great care to discuss how Suhana is well loved and cared for.
From a therapist’s perspective who specializes in Augmentative and Alternative Communication, I hope that Suhana could get a communication device so she can express herself on a regular basis with a variety of communication partners. I also thought that the wording “can’t play” may be accurate from a 7 year old’s perspective, but Suhana can play in different ways. For example, a child with Cerebral Palsy can play with an adapted toy, interact with an adult in a simple turn-taking game or access the computer with adapted equipment. I think this point is important to stress to a child so they understand that children with physical disabilities can still play.
Overall, My Friend Suhana teaches empathy, love and friendship which, I think, any young child can benefit from.
Read another review from Becca ––> Kids Books