Wendi’s Magical Voice — Stuttering Awareness Week

Wendi’s Magical Voice, is written and illustrated by Brit Kohls.  It is available to all kids who stutter through the Stuttering Foundation of America.

This imaginative and  fun story is about a good little witch who stutters and does everything within her magical powers to disappear at school so that she won’t have to speak.  Wendi experiences fear, embarrassment,  anger, frustration and shame when she’s asked to introduce herself at school.    While the other children are practicing their tricks for the Magic Fair, Wendi hides under her desk, hoping to be  invisible.  It isn’t until she meets Peter the  Troll, who befriends her  and invites her to be his partner for the Magic Fair, that Wendi  finally finds a creative way to move beyond her fear.

Children will delight in this magical book, as Kohls has portrayed each child as a different storybook character, thus emphasizing the fact we are all unique in our own special way.

May 9-15 has been designated as National Stuttering Awareness Week, with Colin Firth as honorary chairman.   The Stuttering Foundation of America is the largest nonprofit charitable organization in the world working toward prevention and improved treatment of stuttering.  They reach over 1  million people annually.  According to Jane Fraser, president, “Since the King’s Speech was released last December, the movie has brought a lot of attention to the world of stutterers.”  The foundation also provides a wealth of educational  information on stuttering, referrals to therapists nationwide, myths about stuttering, a page where kids and teens can share their stories and a book, Trouble at Recess, that can be downloaded to  your computer.

Some interesting facts from the foundation:  More than 68 million people worldwide stutter;  3 million Americans stutter.  Stuttering affects four times as many males as females.   Approximately 5 percent of all children go through a period of stuttering that lasts six months or more.  That is why early intervention is so important.  Three-quarters of those will recover by late childhood, leaving 1 percent with long-term problems.

Famous people who stuttered include King George VI, Winston Churchill, Nicole Kidman, James Earl Jones, Marilyn Monroe, Tiger Woods, Andrew Lloyd Webber, and Jane Seymour.

About Patricia Tiltonhttps://childrensbooksheal.wordpress.comI want "Children's Books Heal" to be a resource for parents, grandparents, teachers and school counselors. My goal is to share books on a wide range of topics that have a healing impact on children who are facing challenges in their lives. If you are looking for good books on grief, autism, visual and hearing impairments, special needs, diversity, bullying, military families and social justice issues, you've come to the right place. I also share books that encourage art, imagination and creativity. I am always searching for those special gems to share with you. If you have a suggestion, please let me know.

10 thoughts on “Wendi’s Magical Voice — Stuttering Awareness Week

  1. Another interesting topic, Pat. I also think it is so valuable that you add other resources to your book reviews so that those interested can pursue matters further. I suspect making the characters magical makes the story easier to embrace. You are certainly helping raise my awareness.

    • Am glad you like it. My husband stuttered until he was 12 yrs old, and he stopped. Knowing he has spent his life as minister, you would never know. Think it is interesting so many public figures had problems with stutteing. It was very hard to find picture books for children who stutter. I contacted the author of the book I reviewed to make sure it would be okay to review his book along with talking about the Stuttering Foundation. He said great. I felt he handled the topic seriously, but in a humorous manner. There are a lot of resources for parents, but few for kids and teens. Thanks.

  2. Excellent post, as always. I’m impressed that you contacted the author — such a good idea!

    When I first learned about James Earl Jones’ stutter, I was amazed. He actually stopped talking for years when he was a child, because of his stutter and his self-consciousness. And what a glorious speaking voice he has now! Knowing about people like him would be incredibly inspiring for children who stutter, I would think. Are there programs that introduce these famous stutterers, some of whom, like Churchill, became great orators, to kids?

    • Since Brit’s book was written for the foundation, even though you can purchase it, I felt it important to get the okay from him. He donates the books to children who stutter. I wondered if he had stuttered or knew someone who stuttered.

      Yes, I was a bit surprised by the list of celebrities and famous people who stutter. John Stossel (ABC TV) is another. Other than James Earl Jones, Tiger Woods and Nicole Kidman surprised me the most. The foundation has a few interviews with some celebrities on their site. But, I’m not aware of a program that introduces famous stutterers to kids. Interesting question though because stutters look up to famous role models. I may look into it. The Stuttering Foundation is 64 yrs old, and they have a wonderful website. Since the King’s Speech won an Oscar, I think we’re going to hear more and more. I did discover their charitable givings had gone up 20 percent in recent months, and that they’ve had over two million hits on their website. I find it exciting people are interested. Thanks for your comments.

  3. A great post and I was amazed to learn that Jane Seymour stuttered (I loved the tv programme Medicine Woman), and to learn even the singer Carly Simon and also Antony Quinn also stuttered. Another is Bruce Willis who had a speach therapist help him while at school. It’s great that kids can see that stuttering can be overcome and I love the clever way this book helps teach them this. How magical! Thanks Pat.

    • I think it is important that kids who stutter know famous people like Tiger Woods, stuttered as children. Because of the movie “The King’s Speech,” I think people worldwide have become more aware of the prevalence of stuttering. The Stuttering Foundation, has experienced a huge increase of activity on their website. I think there will be more to come. When searching for books for children/teens, I had a tough time. I was lucky that I found this fun book through the organization. There are only resources for parents.

    • I can not tell a lie. Was talking about this to my husband tonight, especially since he stuttered as a kid. Would require some research on my part, to come up with a good story. I have some upcoming blogs that I’ve researched too and discovered no children/teen books on important other special needs. Thanks for reading my mind down under. 🙂

  4. Hi Pat
    Thanks for posting about Brit’s book. I know Brit through my work with the Phoenix chapter of the National Stuttering Association support group for children and teens.

    I wanted to clarify that Brit is a man.

    He is a wonderful person and has given his time to support the Arizona chapter of the NSA for adults as well as for the children and families. His book is an excellent resource for families, speech-language pathologists and anyone wanting to support kids who stutter.

    • Thank you Karen. I went back to the review to make sure I didn’t refer to him as a she, but see I did in my comments. Will have to fix. I e-mailed him for permission to review the book, because he wrote it for NSA. I was very happy to write the review and provide information on NSA. They are doing such good work. Thanks for letting me know. – Pat

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