Tag Archives: inspiration

Celebrating a Storybook Year – September

Goodbye summer and hello autumn! September started out being all about balloons – and why not? Frankly, as popular as balloons are in this house, it’s surprising it took us this long to get around to them. It made for some colorful – and inspirational – reading. We chased a Red Balloon, read about dealing with loss in “my Yellow Balloon”, tried to track down a Monkey Balloon, and learned how to balloon-proof a hedgehog from Percy the Park Keeper. We went on fantastical adventures with Sebastian and his balloon, took a high-altitude joy ride with a load of barnyard animals in “Hot Air” (the “mostly true” story of the first hot air balloon ride), and discovered one possible answer to the timeless question “Where do Balloons Go?”. We were also reminded that we can find happiness in the little things (like colorful balloons) with “Pass it On.”

Balloons weren’t the only things soaring this month, though. We soared with inspiration in “The Darkest Dark” about Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, and “Fearless Flyer” which introduced us to daring pilot Ruth Law, whose exploits preceded Amelia Earhart by a generation. Then we soared with laughter along with Piggie and Elephant (twice!), Skippyjohn Jones (a long-time read-aloud favorite), the Gruffalo and his child, Elwood Bigfoot, and Ada Twist, Scientist (whose brother really needs to wash his socks).

As usual, we also discovered a number of beautifully illustrated, sweet and touching books to fill out the month – including discovering the joy of friendship in “The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles”, and finding comfort and reassurance in “You Belong Here” and “The Moon Inside”.

 

 


Day 180 – Emmanuel’s Dream

emmanuel“Emanuel’s Dream” is the amazing and inspiring true story of Emanuel Ofosu Yeboah, a young boy from Ghana born with only one leg who managed to ride his bike all around his home country.

When Emanuel was born his father left home, and everyone thought that with only one leg, Emmanuel would be useless, or even worse: a curse! Everyone that is, except his mother, Comfort. Mama Comfort told Emanuel he could have anything, but he would have to get it for himself.

When Emanuel went to school, his mother carried him at first; when he became too heavy, he hopped. He saved his money and bought a soccer ball, and played with the other boys on crutches. Then, Emanuel learned to ride a bike with only one leg(!).

When Emmanuel was thirteen, Mama Comfort became very sick, so Emmanuel moved to the  capital city Accra to earn some money to care for her. When Mama Comfort died, she told Emanuel, “Be respectful, take care of your family, don’t ever beg. And don’t give up.” Emanuel wanted to prove that being disabled did not mean being unable, so he resolved that he was going to bicycle around Ghana. When no-one in his town was willing to help, that did not deter him; Emanuel instead wrote to the Challenged Athletes Foundation in San Diego California, and they sent him the things he needed. He received a blessing from the king of his region, hired a taxi to drive after him and film him, and Emanuel rode all the way around Ghana with only one leg wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with the word “Pozo” (meaning “The Disabled Person”) on his jersey.

We absolutely loved this story, as did I think everyone else who’s read it – based on the reviews we’ve seen. Emmanuel represents true grit and strength and his story is full of so many wonderful messages about never giving up on your dream or on the people you love.