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Book Review - Mama Zooms

In the children’s book, “Mama Zooms,” a little boy sits on his mother's lap, she being in a wheelchair, and he pictures himself as a jockey swiftly riding across lush grass, as a ship’s captain navigating the deep sea, as a revved up car driver, an airplane pilot whipped by whirling winds, and as a train’s conductor looking down a dark tunnel. Choo choo!

But this little boy’s pretend games are far from the ordinary Cowboys and Indians or dress-up. His Mama, you see, has a “zooming machine'’--a wheelchair that transports her and her imaginative son to work, to the park and, best of all, across the miles of that smiling son’s unlimited imagination.

The author, Jane Cowen-Fletcher's softly-colored pastel and pencil illustrations relay the happy times in the life of a typically rambunctious son who doesn’t see any limits for his Mama who is in a wheelchair or for his own imaginary world.

“Mama is just my mama, and that's how I like her best," proves that no matter whether you have a disability or not, you can be the biggest part of a little boy’s (or girl’s) heart and imagination and every limitation has another perspective to it, an opportunity to teach others.

“Mama Zooms” is a good ice breaker story for disability awareness talks with young children. I always find “Mama Zooms” useful when I go to public schools to speak to students about my life as an active, independent woman with a disability and full-time wheelchair user. Many children are afraid when someone with a disability comes into the family. I’ve spoken to several children who equated the use of a wheelchair with death because a sick grandparent who passed away was last seen in a wheelchair. In fact, many people with disabilities, particularly wheelchair users, are active and aren’t ill in the slightest.

It helps establish that a wheelchair isn’t something that I as an individual with a disability am bound by, but that the wheelchair is a source of freedom and fun for me many times. “Mama Zooms,” although pegged for ages 3-6, is a heart-warming story for the entire family, particularly for families who want to talk about a relative who has suddenly or temporarily experienced a disability. It reinforces that individuals with disabilities can be anything, including parents, and their disability can be a source of positive interaction with a child.




Content copyright © 2009 by Monica J. Foster. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Monica J. Foster. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Monica J. Foster for details.

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Content copyright © 2013 by Monica J. Foster. All rights reserved.
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