Today, it is important to share the messages of inclusion and being yourself with children.
Hillary Sussman’s new book, Roxy and Maliboo: It’s Okay to Be Different does just that.
In this super cute and playful read-aloud picture book, Roxy is a loveable dog who has lost a leg because she was sick, and is now faced with accepting this difficult new change. She dreams of going to the dog park to play. When she is healed, her mom finally takes her to the dog park. Once there she sees a dog in the distance sitting all alone, looking sad. His name is Maliboo and he is different too. Roxy goes over and tells him about her own experiences and insecurities. Hearing this helps Maliboo overcome his fears. He works up the courage to play with Roxy and the other dogs. The other dogs accept them just fine, despite their unique features. The lesson they both learn is that it’s okay to be different.
Roxy’s story is meant to give children the confidence to be themselves and not let any differences dictate their self-worth.
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Hillary Sussman is a physical therapist, who uses her experiences in the field to help tell Roxy’s story. After working with many clients with disabilities, she was inspired by her dog Roxy, who has gone through four surgeries, to help kids who are different gain more confidence and overcome their physical limitations.
The idea just made sense… kids would identify with Roxy and realize, like her, that they should not let those limitations stop them from having a full and exciting life. This is Hillary’s first book, but she is planning a whole series featuring Roxy’s adventures, with the delightful pup learning something new in each book, meeting new friends and facing new challenges.
This sponsored article was featured in Issue 126 – Romantic Relationships and Autism