Like Me: A Story About Disability and Discovering God’s Image in Every Person is an educational picture book written by Christian author Laura Wifler, art by Skylar White and published by Harvest Kids (2023). The story’s narrator takes readers into a day in his life with his four-year-old brother with disabilities.
The day starts with the narrator helping his younger brother get dressed and into the car for his therapy appointment. While the therapist works with the brother, the narrator notices other children with different disabilities in the waiting room. The mom tells the narrator that each child, despite the disability, is uniquely made by God.
After lunch at a nearby sandwich shop, the narrator goes sledding with his friends and his brother. Later, the brothers and a friend head inside the house to warm up with hot cocoa and to build a fort. Every time the narrator and his friend finish constructing the fort, the brother knocks it down. The mom hears the commotion and takes the brother into the kitchen. The day ends with the dad reading a book to the boys in front of a cozy fire. The mom tucks in each boy with a blessing, “God made you, God loves you, God is kind to you.”
This picture book can be read independently by first and second graders. Preschoolers and kindergarteners can enjoy the book when it is read to them. Guided Reading Level and Lexile Framework for Reading ratings are not available.
This book may not be at local public libraries but can be purchased through online retailers.
Like Me is one of the few Christian picture books on the market that covers the topic of disabilities. It is a descriptive book that tells the story from the perspective of the sibling of the person with disabilities, not the person with disabilities. This book educates the general young reader population while affirming a subset of this population.
The warm, rich-colored illustrations in Like Me draw young readers to open the book and start reading. Many of them, though, may lose interest halfway into it. There is no action or suspense to hold their attention. They may find the topic foreign because they do not know anyone who has disabilities or a sibling with disabilities.
If young readers are encouraged to read Like Me until the end, they will develop an appreciation for their peers who have disabilities or a sibling with disabilities. Readers are introduced to tools people with disabilities use such as therapy, leg braces, walkers, guide dogs. The narrator demonstrates how to look beyond the person’s words or actions that do not make sense and use body language to understand the message the person is trying to communicate. The mom in the story teaches readers all human beings, regardless of disability, are uniquely made in God’s image. Children learn they can include their peers with disabilities in everyday activities by making a few accommodations.
While the information is new to most young readers, it is all too familiar to the subset of readers who have a sibling with disabilities. Like Me shows these readers that they are not alone, that there are other children like them who experience the daily challenges and joys of living with a sibling with disabilities. They see that helping their sibling with daily self-care tasks and going to therapy appointments are common and normal. They see that including their sibling with disabilities into play activities can be fun at times but frustrating at other times.
Even though most children may read Like Me only once, the one-time read will impress an important truth into their hearts: God’s image is found in every human being, regardless of ability or disability.
Carissa Excelsis is a storyteller and a mom. She has been telling original stories ever since she captivated her kindergarten classmates with her story about a mama bunny going to the hospital to have a baby bunny. She loves to capture children’s imagination through oral and written stories. Prior to being a mom, she created product branding strategies and wrote marketing copy. She hopes one day to have her children’s stories and God-stories published.