There aren’t many books written with highly sensitive children (HSC) in mind, so when Thank Goodness for Different by Leila Boukarim landed on my lap I was very keen to take a peek, and more importantly, to share it with my HSC son. We snuggled under his bed on cushions with a little lamp and read the story of Lilly together.
“Lilly feels different, and that doesn’t make her very happy. Lilly’s mother explains to her that we are all different, and shows her how the things that make us different can make our world a better, more beautiful place for everyone. She beautifully illustrates to Lilly what the world might be like if everyone and everything was the same. Lilly starts to see that the world needs “different”, and starts to think about all the things that she is that make her unique.”
When I had turned the last page over, my son looked at me, smiled and said,
“She’s just like me, mama.”
And that’s where the beauty of this story lies; children relate. At one time or another all children feel like they are different. They come to learn that different is okay, that not feeling exactly the same as everyone else is actually good.
A few weeks before we sat and read this book together, my son was feeling particularly down on himself. He wanted to know why he wasn’t ‘normal’. Why couldn’t he go straight out to play after school without feeling overloaded, like his friends could? Why did the classroom seem so busy to him, but not to his friends? I told him we’re all different. Some children need down time after school, others don’t. And along came Lilly.
Books are an incredibly powerful way of sharing a message, of making children know they are understood and “Thank Goodness for Different” has a positive message that young children can understand, not just highly sensitive children, but all children.
The illustrations are striking but remain warm and inviting for a cosy quiet time read. And no wonder, the book’s author and illustrator is herself the mother of a highly sensitive son. It’s what has driven her to create such a unique, beautiful book. This is Leila Boukarim’s first book – and one thing you can be sure of is that it certainly won’t be her last.
My son and I enjoy reading this book together so much – and I am delighted that I can share the same experience with ten other readers. Leila has very kindly given me ten copies of her e-book to give away on this blog. Enter for a chance to win a copy by clicking on the Rafflecopter link directly below. Good luck!