Meeting Someone Special Who Touches Your Heart.

Last Saturday I met someone very special who touched my heart. His name was Rikus. I had already spoken at the Cerebral Palsy Family Awareness Day and was watching the children. Then I saw Rikus eating a biscuit he had made with his mum.

Rikus has severe CP, he can’t talk, walk, do anything for himself and his mum explained they don’t really know how much he can see. So Polly took over, she’s very good at that. Polly by the way, is my alter ego in the form of a parrot puppet who accompanies me to schools and events.

She asked Rikus if she could have some of his biscuit and was immediately met by a smile that stole her heart. She tucked and rubbed herself under his arm and the reaction was immediate. She went on to give him a kiss. I don’t think either I or his mum expected the reaction we got as Rikus made a clicking sound.

“He wants another kiss,” his mum told me.

Polly continued to interact with Rikus for about half an hour, and every action brought a reaction from him, from smiles to contorted gestures indicating pleasure and lots and lots of clicks which were returned with kisses from Polly. As our time drew to a close, I realised that Polly’s bright colours could indeed be seen by Rikus and her and my voices could be heard by him. So, if you are ever in any doubt as to whether someone who is severely disabled can communicate, just take the time to find out. Polly did, and her life has been changed forever, as did mine, for as I write this piece and look back over the photos I smile, because this young man was so happy that day, and it felt good to make a difference.

Rikus with Jann and Polly small

Edutech, Here We Come…

“Do you fancy coming to the Edutech exhibition with me?” I asked Evadeen, a fellow author a few weeks back.

“What is it?” she asked.

“I’m not too sure, but I think we should go,” I replied.

And so we did. It was actually all about technology in education – ‘COOL,’ I thought, ‘OK,’ thought Evadeen. But actually it was really cool, and what was so awesome was going with a friend. We had very different interests and that was ok too, she went to some of the stalls and I went to others.

I especially liked the idea of schools having their own tv channel – think of the possibilities when a parent can’t make a school play because they have a meeting, or Mpho makes the XI Rugby team and a parent is overseas on business. This was they can just tune in as it is live streames or catch up later as a podcast – HOW COOL REALLY IS THAT? The robotics were brilliant too, though I still like lego, maybe a throwback to when I was a kid, though in those days the pieces were all red and white and the trees flat, I think they had a motorised chassis by the time my brother started to get interested in it. NOW! Well, now you can programme the stuff – WOW!

We also attended a seminar by Dr Deon Oersen from St Benedict’s College before having a coffee to compare notes. As always Evadeen kept me on track and had visited stalls to find out about adding our books to their virtual libraries, as well as looking for potential sponsors for our Schools Reading Road Show – an initiative I started in January where I take authors with me into schools to read, meet and interact with the kids, AND to prove authors really do write books ha, ha, ha.

All in all, we had a really enjoyable and worthwhile day.

Polly Arrives In Port Elizabeth

After touring the Eastern Cape last April, I was lucky enough to be visiting Port Elizabeth and met up with the owner of Fogarty’s Book Shop.

And guess what?

My books are now available at Fogarty’s Book Shop in Walmer Mall. So if you are looking for middle-grade books for your youngsters for the Christmas Holiday’s, why not pop in and take a look at my Polly’s Piralympics Series. Loads of fun, interactive pages to draw on and get involved with Polly and the crew.

Or for younger readers there are my colouring-in story books the Toucane Series, teaching about not throwing down rubbish, how a friend is a friend no matter their colour and stranger danger. 4-8 years.

Toucane arrives at Skoobs

Toucane has arrived at Skoobs Theatre of Books, in Monte Casino, Johannesburg. Just ask Deborah Du Plooy, or at the payment counter and they will point the way, so if you are looking for a Children’s Colouring Book plus a whole lot more check it out. There is also a rap for the kids to learn and how to make your own rubbish/trash bin, which can be made at home or as a competition at school.

So, Parents, Teachers get down to Skoobs and watch out because the second Toucane book – Toucane is Different – is hard on its heels and will be available as soon as the print has dried.

 

Beat the Bully

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