Reena’s Rainbow by Dee White

Reena’s Rainbow

Dee White, Author

Tracie Grimwood, Illustrator

EK Books, Fiction, Sep. 30, 2017

Suitable for Ages: 4-8 years

Themes: Friendship, Dog, Inclusion, Deaf, Homeless, Differences

Opening: In Reena’s world, sounds scattered and scrambled and made no sense. But her clear blue eyes saw everything.

Synopsis: Reena is deaf and Dog is homeless, but they are so much more than that. At first Reena and Dog feel like they don’t belong. But when they are a team they help each other. Reena is very observant and doesn’t miss a thing. When they play hide and seek with the other hearing children in the park, Dog shows the kids the best hiding places and Reena always finds them.  Their special bond and friendship helps them discover that everyone is different and special in their own way.

Why I like this book:

Dee White’s endearing story is about Reena’s abilities and not her disability.

The bond between Reena and Dog is unbreakable and heartwarming.  They find each other’s strengths and work together as a team so that Reena interacts more easily with other hearing children.

Reena has skills and heightened senses that help her navigate her world.  She notices things other children don’t, like a branch that breaks and nearly injures another child. When playing hide-and-seek, she’s clever because she notices “eyes peeping through pampas,” and a” pink cardigan camouflaged in cherry blossoms.”

The is a beautiful story of inclusion that teaches children how to respect and celebrate their strengths and differences. The rainbow symbolically embraces the range of differences in our colorful human family. It is a heartwarming story that also shows children the importance of acceptance and friendship.

Tracie Grimwood’s soft, pastel illustrations are lively and add a joyful spirit to the special friendship between a girl and her dog.  This is a beautiful collaboration between author and illustrator.

Resources: The book is an excellent is an excellent resource. Learning about differences offers new experiences and fosters compassion in children. Ask children if they know anyone with a disability. Make a list of the disabilities or differences they have seen. It will help them realize that we’re all humans, even if we may need to wear hearing aids, use a walking device or wheelchair, have Down Syndrome or autism.

*The publisher provided me with an advanced reading copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books (PPB) with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.

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.

30 thoughts on “Reena’s Rainbow by Dee White

  1. Highlighting the main character’s abilities instead of her disabilities is great. Of course, I like any book that has a dog in it. An excellent choice once again.

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    • I agree that all children need to be exposed to stories like Reena’s. This one touched me because our daughter was hearing impaired and wore an FM system on the front of her so that she heard the teacher’s voice directly into her hearing aids. Oh, the teasing she endured.

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  2. This sounds like a lovely book, Patricia. I like that it is more about abilities than disabilities. We do need to focus on what children, what we, can do, rather than not do.

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  3. It would be nice if this book were read in ALL classrooms to help hearing children understand better what it must be like for someone dealing with deafness. I’m certainly placing this book at the top of my list. Thank you for bringing such valuable books to light.

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    • I am pleased you like the story. It is close to my heart because my daughter was hearing impaired and wore hearing aids and an FM system on the front of her so that the teacher’s voice went into her aids. And even though her audiologist came to the classroom at the beginning of each school year to talk about hearing aids, she still was teased. But I agree, a book would also help.

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    • I am always on the outlook for stories like this to share. Very important to focus on what a child can do. With a hearing impaired daughter, she has senses that are much more developed than mine.

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  4. Pat, I like how an author wrote about a child with a disability that you cannot see, especially since deafness isn’t often included in picture books. And I love how it’s about her abilities and NOT her disability. I’m going to put this one on our library wishlist. We’re having our book fair in early December. Thanks!

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  5. I love how you phrased the premise: ” this book is about Reena’s abilities and not her disability.” This review is perfect timing. The focus should be on love, acceptance, and most of all that ANY child can be the star of ANY story.
    You would love a recent review I did on a multiracial child with terminal illness. Instead of focusing on the harsh cruelties of Angel spending her childhood in the hospital and in and out of surgery, the book is a wet and wild adventure with her stuffed bear to put smiles on the faces of kids who desperately need a reason to smile. Check out https://www.biracialbookworms.com/multiracial-book-terminal-illness/. Thanks for linking up this fabulous post with #diversekidlit. We hope to see you often!

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