I had been simmering on this book idea for a while. I've met a lot of older people new to limb loss who wonder how the young people in their lives will react. I was born with a birth anomaly called proximal femoral focal deficiency (PFFD), which resulted in incomplete formation of my hips and femurs. I had an amputation when I was a toddler and have been wearing an above the knee prosthesis since that time. My path is very different than the path of an older person who experiences amputation later in life. At the end of the day, though, we are both living with limb differences. We both encounter young people who have questions.
The grandpa teaches the granddaughter two main lessons. The first lessons is how to approach a nervous chicken. Fear is contagious and tone matters. The second lesson involves an old cracked that still works just fine. There is beauty and purpose in who we are and how we are.
I'd love to think that a parent or grandparent will be cuddled up with a child, reading this simple story and talking about the illustrations. I wonder what kind of questions will come up. Will the child even notice the prosthesis? Will this help open up a discussion in a gentle way?