Shortlisted for the 2011 National Association of Special Education Needs (NASEN) Inclusive Children's Book of the Year Award, which exists to applaud children's books that promote a positive image of people with special educational needs and encourage children to understand and adopt positive attitudes towards those with disabilities, as well as commending the quality of a the book's text and illustrations.
This is a book that deserves a place on the nursery bookshelf to be read and reread time and time again by parents and children alike. It helps children to recognise that everyone is different. Both heartfelt and loving it provides a wonderfully positive introduction into the world of disability between a child and a sibling. It’s funny and thoughtful and the rhythmic text and repeating words ‘just because’ will ensure that everyone is left with a smile on their and a realisation that kindness goes an awful long way in providing happiness to all.
My big sister Clemmie is my best friend. She can't walk, talk, move around much, cook macaroni, pilot a plane, juggle or do algebra. I don't know why she doesn't do these things. Just because.' This heartwarming picture book tells of a brother's love for his sister. He is so enthusiastic about just how loving and special she is, and delights in telling us about all the fun things they do together. Only as his tale unfolds does the reader begin to realize that his sister has special needs...and by then we just accept as he does all the wonderful things about her. This amusing and often touching story encompasses the issue of disability in a charming celebration of sibling friendship to which all children can relate.
Author Rebecca Elliott talks about Just Because in this video:
'A truly lovely book. It is indeed for all readers, all children and all adults. It shows children what's possible and it puts adults in a position in which we can see and understand everyone, not just the so-called able-bodied. It's fun, it's rhythmic, it's thoughtful. It's not simply or only 'worthy' - though it is the best kind of worthy - it has a poetry about it.' Michael Rosen, Children's poet and former Children's Laureate
'This delightful, warm, beautifully illustrated picture book deserves a place on every bookshelf.' Jacqueline Wilson, Children's author and former Children's Laureate
'A book that deserves a place in every library and school in the country!'
Joy Court, Chair of the Youth Librarians Group
'The just because approach is excellent because it recognises difference without having to understand why, and acknowledges the unconditional acceptance and love that exists between siblings. Against this backdrop, it can really help children to learn and understand more about disability. The images are charming and I can see this book being genuinely helpful for many families with a disabled child or relative, as well as in pre-school and primary school settings.'
Dame Clare Tickell, Chief Executive of Action for Children
‘This is a ‘must’ book for any primary school to have. Not only does it open up a talking point about disabilities, but it deals with the subject in such an honest and true way that you instantly understand; you get it, and you get it because it is written by someone that has intimate knowledge of the themes throughout. It is a heartfelt, loving, personal and warm picture book that through its text immediately draws you in. It's not just the best book that deals with these issues, but it is an exceptional book in its own right which introduces such a powerful and emotive subject that isn't covered enough in the children's book market.’
Adam Lancaster, Federation of Children’s Book Groups
‘Just Because is a delightful book that gives a gentle, positive introduction into the world of a severely disabled child and her brother to other children. The imaginative illustrations and simple story will appeal to all children and will be a lovely read for all families.’ National Portage Association
‘An absolutely beautiful book.’
Kate Saunders & Aled Jones, BBC Radio 2 Good Morning Sunday
Press play to listen to the Radio 2 feature in full:
|Publication date:||20th August 2010|
|Publisher:||Lion Hudson Plc|
|Suitable for:||3+ readers|
Always the eternal daydreamer and doodler Rebecca Elliott's school project from the age of six has in it the line “When I grow up I want to be a writer and an artist”. After a brief trip into a more serious life involving gaining a degree in Philosophy followed by an insanely dull office job Rebecca returned to her childhood career plans. Since 2002 she has written and illustrated dozens of children’s picture books including, Cub’s First Winter, Naked Trevor , The Last Tiger, Milo’s Pet Egg and Zoo Girl which was nominated for ...More About Rebecca Elliott