Strong and Mighty Max
Children’s book illustration/Educational illustration
Written by Kristina Gray
“Strong and Mighty Max” is just that, he’s a little boy who is strong and mighty! He also happens to have achondroplasia, which means his bones don’t grow in the same way lots of peoples’ bones do.
Max’s creator, Kristina Gray, a mother of a child who was born with achondroplasia. Achondroplasia is a rare condition affecting 1 in 25,000 births. Children born with the condition have shorter upper limbs and a slightly larger head than their peers, and have normal intelligence. Strong and Mighty Max is just like any other child his age, apart from his shorter limbs. In the book Max explains how the doctor first told his parents that he was born with achondroplasia and what this actually means.
Strong and Mighty Max is just like any other four year old. He loves playing super-heroes with his friends. Max may be short in stature but his heart is big and his dreams are bigger.
Illustrated by the Happydesigner, Sarah-Leigh Walton, this book encourages children to celebrate that each one of us is unique and different in some way. It encourages people to not focus on outward appearances, but to look at the heart. We can all dream big, and, just like Max, your life can be a great adventure. Aimed at 0-7 year olds, Strong and Mighty Max will particularly appeal to families affected by rare genetic conditions, and specifically a form of dwarfism.
Although Kristina is a busy mum she has talked in schools about Max, and has brought her book in to read to the children. If you want to chat to her about this please do contact her, as it’s a really important book about a really special boy and for a lot of children it may even answer questions they have about types of dwarfism and how it may or may not affect them. Strong and Mighty Max can also be found on Facebook, where you can keep up to date with the book’s progress. The BBC had a chat with Kristina, where she explains that the disability her son has doesn’t make him different from other boys, or her other children. He’s a smart, funny and clever boy, who just happens to have shorter arms and legs that a lot of other children. Kristina was also keen to create a story where a boy like her son is the main character of his own book! It’s an amazing achievement on her part, and a really fun way to educate children and adults about something that just makes some kids look a little different.
Life will always be a great adventure for Max.
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