Title: My Friend Suhana
Authors: Shaila Abdullah and Aanyah Abdullah
Publisher: Loving Healing Press
ISBN # 978-1-615599-211-9
“The other day, Suhana reached her hand out and touched my hair. It made my heart go all spaghetti-like inside – warm and mushy. My special friend knows that I care even though she cannot show it most of the time,” Shaila and Aanyah Abdullah write in their children’s book, My Friend Suhana.
Written and designed by a mother and daughter team, this thirty-page square paperback book targets ages six to eight years old. Concentrating on children with disabilities, there are no scary or frightful scenes but some of its complicated words would be best read by adults to beginner readers. Colorful simplistic illustrations cover the full right side of the pages while the left sides set the storyline apart. The ending includes a page about cerebral palsy and has the authors’ biographies along with other books written.
In this short tome told in first person, a young seven year old girl has a dear friend named Suhana who has cerebral palsy. Having difficulty standing, walking, playing, or talking like other children, Suhana communicates in her particular way that others may misunderstand.
The young girl loves being with and helping her special friend by visiting her at the community center where she hugs, rocks, tickles, and comforts her. Even though Suhana yells and screams, it is her way to express how she feels.
When the girl draws a painting of Suhana’s favorite things such as pink flowers and a rainbow, the girl correlates it to her friend’s moods of red being when she us upset, blue for when she is calm, and pink for her feeling loved.
Suhana happily screams her joy when she sees the picture, knowing her friend loves her. The writer says that even though Suhana is not like other children and has to learn to walk, she will always be the star dancing around the special girl’s little kite.
Promoting friendship, respect, and support, this children’s book aides in teaching others that art can help overcome and accept the differences of physical characteristics in others. It shows the bond that a mother and daughter share caring and loving those who have physical or mental disabilities as they convey how to be a true friend.
Thanks to Loving Healing Press for furnishing this book in exchange for a review based on the reader’s opinion.