This lovely book about hearing loss was recommended to us by one of our recent interviewees – Nell Nash of Tatty Rose. I really liked the look of it so bought us a copy and it’s currently one of Ivy’s favourite bedtime reads.
The story is about a little boy called Freddie who finds a fairy called Bessie-Belle tangled in a tree. He helps her down and she says she will grant him some wishes to say thank you. She tells him that she can’t hear very well and if you look carefully at the illustrations you can see that she’s wearing a little blue hearing aid.
Freddie doesn’t really understand this though so he mumbles when he asks for his wishes. He really wants a pet but because she can’t hear him the fairy doesn’t quite get it right. Freddie’s requests for a cat, a dog or a parrot result in a bat, a frog and a carrot – none of which make great pets!
Just as the fairy starts to get upset a magical fairy queen appears in a puff of smoke. She explains that the fairy can’t hear as well as he can and teaches Freddie how to communicate better in order to help her. He learns that to be properly understood he shouldn’t mumble and he shouldn’t turn his head away or put his hand over his mouth when he speaks. Once he begins to do this his wishes really do come true!
Ivy loves this book because the bungled wishes make her laugh but it’s opened up a wider conversation about hearing and the need to speak clearly. As a parent I hope this means that if she encounters a child with a hearing aid when she starts school she will remember Bessie-Belle and know that she can help.
Buy it now: https://amzn.to/2AminZt