Story by Barbara Studham; Illustrated by Heather Lamb
A Vianvi Podcast Book Review by Viga Boland
Hello there and welcome back to VIANVI book reviews with author and book reviewer, Viga Boland. Today I have an absolutely wonderful and very special book for you, but before I tell you about this book, I would like to tell you a little bit about the person behind the book.
Her name is Barbara Studham. I had the pleasure of meeting Barbara several years ago when she attended my very first memoir writing workshop. Barbara had attended the workshop that day in the hopes of getting some tips on blogging. At that time, Barbara wrote a blog, and still does, titled “challenged hope”. Her blog was designed for people like her, folks who were involved with the very difficult task of raising children with fetal alcohol syndrome.
Now, to be honest, before Barbara came into my life, I knew very little, if anything at all, about children afflicted by fetal alcohol syndrome. She opened my eyes to a world doctors have yet to fully explore, a world where children with FAS are often misdiagnosed as having ADHD. Yes, the symptons are very similar, but unlike ADHD, the answer to treating FAS doesn’t lie in medication, all of which I learned about when Barbara went on to write her first memoir, TWO DECADES OF DIAPERS. In that book, Barbara detailed what it was like for her to raise her 4 FAS grandchildren, singlehandedly, over a period of 22 years. Barbara has since written a sequel to that first memoir, titled FAS: The Teen Years. If FASD is an issue that you, dear listener, are dealing with now in your life, I cannot urge you strongly enough to purchase copies of both books. You can learn all about them on Barbara’s own website at www.barbarastudham.com
Now, Barbara has put her experience and talent into what I can only see as a groundbreaking book on FAS. It’s titled “Strawberry and Cracker”, and it’s aimed at children with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Beautifully illustrated by her friend, artist and writer, Heather Lamb, Strawberry and Cracker will delight school-aged children, both those with FAS and those without. Those without, along with their parents and teachers, will learn how the school-day experience differs for children with fetal alcohol syndrome, how they rely on and need visual aids and charts to help them learn and keep them organized.
While the children’s book market may be saturated, in a search for books aimed at, and about children with FAS, I’ve yet to come across a book like Barbara Studham’s “Strawberry and Cracker”. This has got to be one of the most important books on fetal alcohol syndrome ever published, and the good news is that it’s the first in a series. Barbara and Heather are already hard at work on Book #2. With final layout and illustration renderings done by Andrew Rudd of Detail for Design at http://detailfordesign.com on all Barbara’s books…she’s also a prolific fiction writer…her next book is bound to be equally amazing, beautiful and so important.
Schools, libraries, parents, teachers and caregivers should visit Barbara’s website right now and read up on this superb book. And while you’re there, be sure to subscribe to her blog so you know immediately when her next book becomes available. Of course, Barbara would also appreciate you leaving your reviews and comments on Strawberry and Cracker. not just on her blog, but on Amazon. That’s the best way for others to discover Barbara’s books on FAS. Nothing spreads the word faster than word of mouth and friends’ recommendations.
Won’t you help? These children need your support. understanding and love. Let Barbara help you and others give them that.