Thursday, March 6, 2014

Book Review: My Clever Night-Night Shoes

Scary statistics bring home the fact that a child is born with congenital clubfoot (talipes) every three minutes. The great news is that Dr Ignaçio Ponseti’s method for clubfoot treatment is over 95% successful. A crucial part of treatment is wearing a brace to hold the foot in the corrected position. Bracing is the best protection against relapse. Most children sleep in the brace until at least age four. But how do you get a child to wear the brace without them protesting or putting up a fight?

My Clever Night-Night Shoes is a bedtime story for children who sleep with a brace to help keep their feet straight. The book is written by Karen Mara Moss, mom to a strong-willed child who had to be gently persuaded to wear his brace. Artist Lori Bentley wore orthopaedic boots every day as a toddler to correct a problem with her feet. Between them, these two creative people have put together an enchanting book that will convince any reluctant brace wearer to put on that brace to get their feet ready for an exciting future.

This delightful book is a mixture of illustrations and poetry to encourage children needing to wear a night brace on their feet. From being a fireman to being a ballet dancer, from running a race to climbing a mountain, from wearing high heels to skating on ice, this book takes young readers through the many options that will be open to them IF they wear their ‘clever night-night shoes.’ The rhythms and rhymes of the poetry are catchy and just perfect for a read-aloud session at bedtime. The water colour illustrations are delightful, and there is so much detail in each picture that parents and children will enjoy poring over them to discover all those extra little bits that add to the tale. I did notice several intrepid penguins managed to get themselves into quite a few illustrations. A well-deserved Five Stars!

A portion of proceeds from the sale of this book goes to STEPS Charity, a regional clubfoot champion endorsing the Ponseti method. STEPS was established in Southern Africa in 2005. The book also offers an end-note of more resources for parents.
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