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What Happened to You?

What Happened to You?

Published: 1 Apr 2021

Paperback / softback, 32 pages

Recommended for age 3+

By James Catchpole

Illustrated by Karen George

Published by Faber & Faber

Regular price
£5.17
Sale price
£5.17
Regular price
RRP £6.99
Unit price
per 

The first-ever picture book addressing how a disabled child might want to be spoken to. What happened to you? Was it a shark? A burglar? A lion? Did it fall off?

Every time Joe goes out the questions are the same ...what happened to his leg? But is this even a question Joe has to answer? A ground-breaking, funny story that helps children understand what it might feel like to be seen as different.

Tagged disability

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Reviewed by Jayne Truran

What Happened To You? is a delightful, cheeky book highlighting disability and diversity by James Catchpole and illustrated by Karen George.

Joe has only one leg. Wherever he goes, he is constantly questioned about this, and he feels that this is defining who his peers think he is. He is Joe, a small boy who loves to play at being a pirate. Having one leg is normal for him. He is fun, adventurous and very agile. He does all the things all the other children do.

Despite this, everyone wants to know why he has only one leg. Joe has a wonderful set of retorts to this endless questioning, and his patience is sorely tested at times. This makes Joe sad as he simply wants to play, not explain why he is different.

Terrific characters with great facial expression. The pages where the children are constantly firing questions at him are really well laid and out and give us a sense of Joe’s impending irritation, resulting in a full-page spread of Joe looking sad. At this point, the children realise Joe is just like them, and joyful play resumes. They no longer need to know how and why. He is just Joe, their friend.

The use of bold colour adds to the moods encountered throughout the tale. The mass of yellow lions indicating Joe’s annoyance, the bold yellows of the children playing all adding to the feel of the tale.

What Happened To You? is a jolly, playful book celebrating children and their intrinsic differences.

I am a school librarian of many years. Started my career in public libraries but soon found my niche in children's work. Over the years been involved with Federation of Children's Book Groups, Booktrust, Children's Book Award, Joos Kids Book Festival and numerous other 'book related' activities.
Passionate about children reading, children's books and a huge interest in picture books.
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