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.