Your dreams can come true if you believe in yourself and never give up. Michelle is a special young girl who has Cerebral Palsy. It affects the way she walks and her mobility. But, with her special walker she manages to get around. This special day she was staring at a Panda Bear Princess in the Salvation Army store. She was there to claim the one thing that she wanted: The Panda Bear Princess. Little did Michelle know that buying the Panda Bear Princess would change her life forever.
Returning to the all-girl’s orphanage she was greeted by the head mistress Mrs. Goldsmith. Mrs. Goldsmith is an imposing figure and when she instructed Michelle to stand still and remain in place she listened. But, sometimes not everyone is tolerant or understanding of both children and adults with disabilities and one girl named Josephine called her names and even insulted her walker. Michelle was smart and even though she could hear some of the other girls laughing she did not let it get her down. Entering the dining hall we hear Mrs. Goldsmith reprimand Josephine for her rude behavior and remind the others about her disability. Cerebral Palsy is defined as a disorder that is caused by brain damage occurring at or before birth. It is marked by muscular impairment; poor coordination and it can sometimes involve speech and other learning difficulties. It is a physical disability mainly in the areas of body movement.
A special announcement would change everything and maybe even spark Michelle into action to prove that she can do anything if she does not give up on herself and tries. The Queen of England, yes you heard me, the Queen herself is hosting an exchange student scholarship for the girls in this orphanage. The Queen’s staff will choose three girls who excel in a tea party competition. The three winners will live in London for 6 months under the Queen Majesty’s care. How amazing is that! But, Michelle does not think she has a chance. Mrs. Goldsmith tells her she had no choice but to enter the competition and what happens next is quite remarkable. Remember that special Panda Bear Princess that she bought? Well, she finally takes her out of her toy box and believe it or not she comes alive! Panda Bear could not understand why it took her so long to finally let her out and she was not about to allow Michelle to give up. With little time to prepare and the Queen’s scholarship at stake wait until you join Michelle on her journey with Panda Bear Princess and her therapeutic riding horse as the fly off to Panda Bear’s castle. How cool is that! Panda Bear explains that she goes to many different Salvation Army sites hoping that a child in need will buy her so that she can help them overcome their disabilities. Author Jewel Kats and illustrator Richa Kinra created not only through her vivid descriptions but the beautiful and colorful illustrations the castle filled with a special room filled with a hand-painted teapot, decorated cookies and cakes and even spoons, knives and forks to help Michelle learn the proper way to serve tea and proper etiquette. For those young girls that want to learn how to serve tea you are going to have to join Michelle on pages 34- 37 and take the lessons along with her. Look at the amazing photos and try your hand at serving tea the right way.
But, will Michelle be able to impress the judges? What happens when it is her turn to shine? Will she remember what Panda Bear Princess taught her? Find out when you read the remarkable ending, learn what happens to Panda Bear Princess next and why and remember: Believe in yourself!
The author teaches adults, children, educators, guidance counselors, and parents the importance of understanding and appreciating people with disabilities. Learn what happens when you never give up and you have the courage to stand tall. Learn how to smile at your guest, become a hostess and realize that you have something special to offer and your disability does not define who you are! But, my favorite part is when Panda Bear Princess shares a special secret with Michelle. Everyone should do this: Try putting affirmation stickers on your mirror telling you that you are wonderful, beautiful, smart or just great being you. Read them out loud and you will definitely feel better. Read your positive affirmations to give yourself a special as Panda Bear says: Pick Me Up! Tolerance, understanding, compassion, differences, love and trust are all taught in this special Cerebral Palsy Fairy Tale. Once again Jewel Kats has created a story that all children and adults should read and definitely needs to be shared.
Fran Lewis: Reviewer