Hansel & Gretel: A Fairy Tale with a Down Syndrome Twist by Jewel Kats

Posted in Down syndrome, Reviews, Special Needs Children by - October 20, 2014
Hansel & Gretel: A Fairy Tale with a Down Syndrome Twist by Jewel Kats

Hansel & Gretel: A Fairy Tale with a Down syndrome Twist by Jewel Kats and illustrations by Claudia Marie Lenart is out this month of October (2014) just in time for Down Syndrome Awareness Month. The team at Special Needs Book Review has already reviewed two of Jewel Kats TEN children’s book and you can find the links to our reviews at the end of this post.

Some of the information about Ms. Kats newest book was taken from a press release from her publisher, Loving Healing Press.

NOTE: Toronto children’s author, disabilities advocate, and real life Archie Comics character Jewel Kats died Jan. 7th, 2016 with her family by her side.

Jewel Kats Tells Adventurous Tale of Hansel,

a Brave Boy with Down Syndrome

Ann Arbor, MI – From the award-winning author of Cinderella’s Magical Wheelchair: An Empowering Fairy Tale                      comes another empowering children’s book, Hansel & Gretel: A Fairy Tale with a Down syndrome Twist (Loving Healing Press, October 2014).

This adaptation of the classic Grimms’ tale includes the wicked witch and the poor siblings in search of food; but in this version Jewel Kats’ main character, Hansel, is a mischievous, yet courageous, five-year-old boy with Down syndrome.

Young readers of the book will get the message that children with Down syndrome are capable and can achieve extraordinary success with determination. Hansel’s story will also teach by example that people cannot be judged by appearance; a princess or a hero can be hidden within. Jewel Kats’ insightful story is brought to life with enchanting illustrations in wool by fiber artist Claudia Marie Lenart. Also making the book special is the dreamy style achieved by the artist with needle felted wool – a first in children’s book illustration.

Young readers will learn that:

  • Children with Down syndrome are capable and can achieve extraordinary success with determination.
  • An act of kindness can transform people and the world.
  • Treating people like family can create a miracle.
  • People cannot be judged by appearance; a princess or a hero can be hidden within.
  • Facing a challenge can lead to unimaginable rewards.

Praise for Hansel & Gretel: A Fairy Tale with a Down syndrome Twist

“I love that this book addresses not only the low expectations that society has of kids with Down syndrome but that the Mother has as well.   What a gifted author to see past the diagnosis and tell a magical story of potential and belief!”

––Nancy Gianni, Founder & Gigi’s Mom, GiGi’s Playhouse: Down Syndrome Achievement Centers

“This story would help young readers look beyond disabilities and focus on the characters of those who have special needs. Claudia’s breathtaking illustration take this beloved tale to a whole new level.”

––Shaila Abdullah, author of My Friend Suhana

Hansel & Gretel: A Fairy Tale with a Down Syndrome Twist by Jewel KatsAbout the Author Jewel Kats (1978 –2016 )

For six years, Jewel Kats penned a syndicated teen advice column for Scripps Howard News Service (USA) and TorStar Syndication Service (Canada). Her books have been featured in Ability Magazine twice and she appeared in a documentary series by the Oprah Winfrey Network (Canada) in 2012. Kats has been featured in a number of major media outlets, including WKBW-TV and The Toronto Star. Visit her website to read more about her work.

At the age of nine, Jewel endured a car accident. Her physical abilities altered forever. She spent weeks in the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto recovering. Now 35, Kats suffers from chronic pain, arthritis and low bone density in her right leg, a result of the accident when she was 9. She uses a pink walker when she’s at home, and a hot pink wheelchair outside.Harper Lodge - Jewel Kats inspired the introduction of a new character in the long-running Archie Comics.

During the summer of 2014, Jewel Kats inspired the introduction of a new character in the long-running Archie Comics. 1st Appearance in Archie #656, 2014, readers find Harper Lodge, cousin of Veronica Lodge, who is the first character in Archie comic books to have a disability. Harper is a successful fashion designer, an extremely smart children’s book author and advice column writer and the similarities between Harper and Jewel Kats are very easy to see.

Ontario author teaches kids to overcome disability – Global National July 17th, 2014

Hansel & Gretel: A Fairy Tale with a Down syndrome Twist illustrated by  Claudia Marie LenartAbout the Illustrator of Hansel & Gretel: A Fairy Tale with a Down syndrome Twist:
Claudia Marie Lenart is a book illustrator who uses wool as her medium. She is a needle felt artist and is the first to illustrate a children’s book in wool, through felting techniques.

On fantasy fairy felted.blogspot.ca I learned: “The illustration process has been quite an adventure. Although most of the illustration is needle-felted, I have also used some wet felting and a technique in which the wool is pressed together. My brain has gotten a workout figuring out how to create a fireplace, a forest, candy houses . . . The illustrations are mostly wool, although I have used some wood.”

Read Also: Our reviews of two other books by Jewel Kats:What Do You Use to Help Your Body by Jewel Kats

Buy Books by Jewel Kats:Cinderella’s Magical Wheelchair: An Empowering Fairy Tale for Children with Disabilities by Jewel Kats

  • Cinderella’s Magical Wheelchair: An Empowering Fairy Tale for Children with Disabilities Amazon.com   Amazon.ca 
  • What Do You Use to Help Your Body? Maggie Explores the World of Disabilities  Amazon.com  Amazon.ca

More Books by Jewel Kats:

This post was written by Lorna
Lorna d’Entremont: Co-owner of SentioLife Solutions, Ltd. the company behind KidCompanions Chewelry (2007) and SentioCHEWS (2013), mother of three, grandma of 5 and wife. She is a retired teacher and special needs advocate. Throughout she has taught all levels from grade 2 to grade 9. Lorna loved teaching and enjoyed seeing the students progress in the school system. During her 30 year career she took a few years off to raise her three children.
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