Barnardos. (2000). Children's Books for Special Needs: Health. https://knowledge.barnardos.ie/handle/20.500.13085/813
These books explore a wide range of health issues ranging from asthma, diabetes and visual
impairment, to AIDS, eating disorders and others. They target readers between the ages of
4-15 years, offering factual insights into sensitive issues, and thereby encouraging reading
as a source of knowledge and information. Books are graded according to ageappropriateness.
The books are ideal tools for parents to discuss issues with their children,
giving them both an opportunity to address the many complexities facing families and
children in today’s world.
Health is portrayed in a holistic way, where the psychological impact of loss and grief are so
clearly illustrated in /ce Cat, The Gathering Darkness and Dancing Through the Shadows.
Positive mental health is explored in Dealing with Eating Disorders, while social attitudes and
prejudices are challenged in Pig-Heart Boy and The Challenge. A little bit of light humour
helps to get the message through in Glasses Who Needs ‘Em and Dr. Dog. The language is
lacking in jargon, yet has clear information and powerful messages, as in Junk and Tomorrow
| Will Feel Better.
There is a strong preventive aspect to these books, helping children and parents to deal with
visual problems, asthma, diabetes, etc., thereby minimising future deterioration and risks.
These books are ideal for use within family settings and could also be incorporated into the
Social, Personal and Health Education Programme provided through the Department of
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