Benjamin the Lion


childrens book illustrator

Not all children are born the same, and author Darren Collings aims to highlight the positives that come from life with children of different abilities. “Benjamin”, Darren’s first story, is born with a visual impairment, but quickly learns how to make sure his family always know what he’s up to!

Benjamin’s family are Mama and Pappa Yohannes and little Adofo and Imani have some big news to share; Mama is having another baby! Whilst arguments abound with the children as to who will be the baby’s best sibling, and whether it’s a girl or a boy, the adults take a more measured approach and get busy painting the nursery. When it’s time for Mama to have her baby, Pappa drives her to the hospital and Benjamin arrives safely. From the start, the doctor suspects something is different with Benjamin. His suspicions are confirmed when Benjamin doesn’t react to light in the way most babies do, and he tells Mama and Pappa Yohannes that their baby has a visual impairment. Whilst the initial conversation is a shock to the parents, the news quickly sinks in and they prepare to adapt to life with a differently abled child. The siblings take to Benjamin immediately, using his big lion paws on their face so he will know what they look like by touch, and playing with him all day! His big brother, Adofo thinks Benjamin is weird as he gets older as Benjamin can’t wait to start school!

Darren Collings has created a range of books that deal with different ways families adapt to the different needs of their children, and each one is a gentle insight into how other families live. Each story gives parents a great opportunity to learn more about other families and also teach their own children that everyone is really the same inside!


Join Benjamin and his family as they navigate their new normal around a busy family, and watch Benjamin grow into a very happy little boy!

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