The Prince Who Was Just Himself, by Silke Schnee, illustrated by Heike Sistig (Plough Publishing, 2015)
Prince Noah moved more slowly, but he enjoyed being in nature and finding things to watch there. The prince who was just himself loved listening to music, and he was happy, and he made other people happy. “He liked being wherever he was and was not worried about where he would go next.”
One windy, stormy day, the mighty Knight Scarface arrived with his army to attack the kingdom. The princes Luke, Jonas, and Noah rode forth to meet the threatening knight and defend their kingdom. As the princes approached Knight Scarface, Noah saw tears on Scarface’s face, and so he rode up very close and asked the knight a simple question. The knight, who “knew all about hating and fighting” was taken aback. A simple act of compassion by the prince “who was just himself” caused a marvelous turn of events.
The colorfully detailed illustrations make this a good book for reading aloud to a group of children. Information about Down syndrome at the end adds useful content. Aspects of the plot fit in with conflict resolution techniques, although older children might find the story line unrealistic. Good for classrooms, Sunday school classes, and children’s time in congregational worship to show that people with disabilities are more similar to others than they are different and add important abilities to the community.