Happy Again

Holiday House. (I Like to Read). Dec. 2022. 32p. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9780823453764.
PreS-K–Plohl’s latest semi-autobiographical picture book presents a very simple version of the story of how he was injured and became a wheelchair user. With only one or two sentences on each page, readers see Lucas the Lion go from being happy before his injury to being sad that he cannot walk anymore. He discovers new ways of doing things, gets adaptive equipment to help him be independent, and finds love—all of which help him to be happy again. Photographs of the author doing many of the same tasks that Lucas the Lion does in the book will make the story real to young readers and may open a discussion about adaptive sports, accessibility, and other important topics around disability. The book is positive without being saccharine. It addresses some myths about people with disabilities—that disabled people can’t find or aren’t interested in romantic love, for example—in a simple and factual way.
VERDICT A much-needed book that humanizes the experience of becoming disabled in a gentle way and appropriate for young children.

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