What Happened to You?
by James Catchpole
illustrated by Karen George
Shortlisted Little Rebels Award 2022
Joe is playing pirates in the playground. The sharks are being pretty pesky, but at least they're not as bothersome as the other children are with all of their silly questions: "You've only got one leg! What happened?" "Did it fall off in the toilet?" "Was it a lion?" Joe doesn't feel like answering their questions. And he certainly doesn't feel like telling "that" story. Thankfully, Simone is suddenly distracted by a crocodile and then some sharks and, before long, all of the children are busy being fearsome pirates...and making new friends!
A flawless picture book whose disabled protagonist has full agency and self-determination. Joe's challenges and, in particular, his decisions to answer questions as and when he wants to feel exceptionally empowering. All this is balanced with an honesty abut children's curiosity and forthrightness and conveyed with a great deal of humour. Witty and thoughtful, this truly is empathy on the page! Described by the author as a story he wanted to write to his younger self. 'This book really makes you think about how Joe must feel every time he is asked what happened to him. It shows in the way he responds verbally and in his body language' (Rosalind, Project Dev. Mgr.- PACEY, Letterbox Library reviewer). Age 4-7, Paperback 30pp
Click here to download reading and discussion guide.