Sunday, December 8, 2013

Autism Answer: The WingMaker: By Lynette Louise--A Review

A more complete version of my Review first appeared HERE on Special Needs Book Review, along with a lovely intro by Lorna d'Entremont. I suggest heading over to her site if you have a moment. There are many other books reviewed and authors interviewed there as well!!

Disclaimer: Lynette Louise is not only one of my favorite authors, she is also my mother. I suppose that makes me a little bit biased, but it also makes me a little bit of a harsher critic as well. After all, she’s my mom!!

The moment I first looked at this book, I felt joy. The pictures are a collage of playful moments, spiritual images, and skies filled with possibilities.

The pictures prepare you for the emotional and delightful story the reader is about to experience in The WingMaker.

Told in rhyme, the tale is of a young girl, Reazon, who is very disabled and finds herself almost drowning in desires and wishes. Watching her siblings play she years to join them and be a different kind of part of the family.

Her mom shows love by working tirelessly and without complaint. But alas, also without fun.

Enter the delightfully playful therapist, Happy-Ness, whose belief in miracles is strong enough to reveal them! Through pretend play, and a willingness to let go of fear and hold onto hope, skills are gained and life becomes fun!

Just as everyone has begun to live and see the power of play, and Happy-Ness pats herself on the back for another job well done, Reazon becomes deathly ill. Now it is Happy-Ness who finds herself drowning in wishes and doubt. As she questions and bemoans the point of it all, truths are revealed through the revisiting essence of Reazon. She offers both Happy-Ness—and this reader!—an ultimate answer and true reason for play, kindness, and the belief in possibilities above fear of failure.

An excerpt from The WingMaker: 

“It occurred to Reazon that this was Happy-Ness’ way:
over-doing it to keep going and creating through play.
Most of the lockers had just one set of feathers.
Like Mom’s and her sisters, a nurse, and two others.
Some just sat empty for adornment to wait,
waiting and waiting for wings from THE GATE.
That came when an action of kindness helped all:
The receiver, the giver, the audience involved."

When we meet the true WingMaker, we feel our own shoulders tingle with the knowledge that they can easily wear wings, if we are willing to do the work and believe.

The WingMaker is a book that I would recommend to any family with a loved one, neighbor, or friend who is disabled or challenged in some way. It is also an excellent and hopeful book for people dealing with grief or loss. When I asked my mom, Lynette Louise, why she wrote the story she explained, “This is based on the true story of a lovely girl and her family that I worked with years ago. After her death I needed to tell the story in order to let go. I needed to share what she’d taught me with others.”

This is a family book, perfect for adults and older children alike.  It is especially lovely for parents to read with their children.  My own teen sons (I have four) have all enjoyed it, and all for their own reasons. This book would also be an actively wonderful addition to any library, especially at a clinic or therapy center where people are dealing with extreme disabilities, mental health issues, or loss.

The WingMaker is the kind of book you want in your home. It’s a book that offers hope while encouraging comfortable discussions about acceptance and difference. 

To get your own copy (and a few for your friends!) of The WingMaker by Lynette Louise, follow THIS link to, or THIS link on Lynette's website. 

The WingMaker by Lynette Louise
aka The Brain Broad