Thursday, March 10, 2016

Book Review: Reasons to Smile (Celebrating People Living With Down Syndrome)

A good book will reach out and grab you and not let you go.

Reasons to Smile (Celebrating People Living With Down Syndrome, by Andrea Knauss & Elizabeth Martins, reaches out and grabs you over and over again, and even after you have finished the book, you can't help but pick it back up and peek at your favorite stories again.

The book is a collection of not ten, not twenty, but over 50 enlightening and uplifting personal (short) stories written by various authors that will certainly make your heart smile. Each story is accompanied with a photograph of the person featured in the story and a perfect quote for every story, as well.

Life Lessons

We all can learn from other people's accomplishments, their struggles, their life stories. Reasons to Smile is jam-packed with deep, heartfelt emotion that everyone can learn from. Some of the stories might even make you angry or just leave you feeling shocked and dumbfounded.

In one of the stories, Lisa Wajert, mother of Matthew, in Holland, PA, says:

"As shocking as it was to have a child with Down Syndrome, it was even more shocking to hear the doctors in the hospital tell me, 'You can just leave him here if you want. There are people who will adopt him and you can walk away and try again. After all, you are young and you can try again to have a 'normal' child."
In another, Emma Taylor, in Alcester, Warwickshire, England, talks about her big brother, another Mathew (spelled differently):

"Mathew has a zest for life only a few people come close to. His love for his friends and family is unlimited and he is always the first to suggest a family gathering. Mathew even become the Christmas party organiser for the gardeners where he worked.
His sense of humour often had his mersmerised audience in stitches, whether it be in the pub, at the drama group he is part of, or watching his favourite football team play. His memory should never be questioned and he often reminds you of embarrassing situations and funny stories."  
Reasons to Smile will take you on a journey of emotions, and maybe even teach you a thing or two about looking for the beauty in every experience in life.

Celebrating Life

It is the ultimate celebration of babies, children, teens, and adults who have found the sunshine in a world filled with clouds and storms, plus the challenges that Down Syndrome brings. People living with Down Syndrome - and their loved ones - will find a tremendous amount of encouragement and guidance in Reasons to Smile.

As kind of a side note, I have to tell you that my little lap child is smitten with her "baby" on the cover of the book. She will hold the book for hours cooing, "baby."

Please take a moment to "like" the Reasons to Smile Facebook page to support their efforts! And, if you want to purchase Reasons to Smile, you can get the beautiful hardcover here for only $14.99.

It's an amazing compilation and I highly recommend it!

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