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PB With Wheelchair Character

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It's been a while, BB's. Hello, hello!  :star2

I have an idea, but it may be just too simple...and boring.

For the last year, I've been primary care assistant to a man who is a quadriplegic. Little kids who have been around him a lot are used to his bed, his power chair, and know how his needs get met. Little ones who come into his home and haven't been exposed to a life such as his are usually curious. (One child stood off to the side, observing, too shy to ask (or didn't know what to ask); another whispered questions; one was just flat-out forward and straight-up: "HOW DOES HE PEE?") 

So a peculating idea of mine is to organically have the MC's grandfather in a chair (no fan-fare about it) but have an event where the environment is naturally conducive to questions.

I haven't even jotted notes yet, and I've only thought of one "event" that presents a conflict for the MC ...but am wondering if I really need a conflict with this? Admittedly, I haven't read much in the way of presenting such a subject matter.

 :thankyou

#1 - November 10, 2018, 04:24 AM
Imagination is more important than knowledge. Einstein.

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This may be a bit from left field, but I know of at least one example of a focused instructional book without a traditional story arc. It stresses the importance of hand washing and does a good job of using other PB techniques to keep things interesting. It may not be wildly popular in the way that everyone knows Piggy & Elephant, but there are classrooms everywhere that read it year after year.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1203799.Those_Mean_Nasty_Dirty_Downright_Disgusting_But_Invisible_Germs
#2 - November 10, 2018, 10:39 AM

I diversed, as someone with epilepsy, I wrote about a gorilla who had same and dealt with it in a light-hearted way. The concept seems good and would encourage relationship concepts between generations. Particularly close-family ones.
Since you've been caring for this man, why not ask him? Again, I did that, but I asked my neurologist. When I told him about the fact that I wrote the story and asked if gorillas could be affected by neurological conditions his smile said everything. "I'm not a veterinarian but I can't see why not!"
Just do what we are all told: write it down and leave it stew. Even as an epileptic I learned a lot when I wrote my own story.
Keep us posted! :goodluck
#3 - November 10, 2018, 11:31 AM

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I don't think you have to have a conflict. The book could be more of a slice-of-life story - MC and grandfather going somewhere together, meeting a goal of some sort, spending a day together, etc.
#4 - November 10, 2018, 12:46 PM

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I don't think you need anything to establish conflict either. This is all normal for the main character, but what if Grandpa came to school for a grandparents event or came to the main character's birthday party at wherever? The other kids would react like the kids you described. The rest is in how the main character and grandfather respond.

I do think a search for wheelchair in the picture book range on Amazon is a good idea so you can see what's out there. Good luck with this and good to see you back.
#5 - November 10, 2018, 07:38 PM
Website: http://www.debbievilardi.com/
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Thanks, everyone.   :grin3

#6 - November 11, 2018, 05:46 AM
Imagination is more important than knowledge. Einstein.

One thing you mentioned was that you thought might be a bit boring is the possible plot, but if you have children asking in true-life about the scenario, the chances are they will be about the story.
You have true-life scenario. Embrace it. Also, having the grandparent as a primary character is something children will always enjoy.
#7 - November 11, 2018, 10:32 AM

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Arona, I always think it's a wonderful to include characters where the disability isn't part of the plot per se. One of my first ever stories had a boy in a wheelchair but the story is about him and his friend flying a kite. I wish there were more stories about disabled kids because they are so often excluded from games and activities. A story is way into the whole idea that they are differently abled. I think showing the love between a child and his grandpa has universal appeal. Happy writing!
#8 - November 12, 2018, 08:19 AM
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