What Happened to You?

illust. Karen George
Book, 2021, 33 pp
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Imagine you were asked the same question again and again throughout your life. Imagine if it was a question that didn't bring about the happiest of memories.

What happened to you? Was it a shark? A burglar? A lion? Did it fall off?

Every time Joe goes out the questions are the same . . . what happened to his leg? But is this even a question Joe has to answer?

Constantly seen first for his disability, Joe is fed up of only ever being asked about his leg. All he wants to do is play. But as usual, one after the other, all the children ask him the same question they always ask, "What happened to you?" Understandably Joe gets increasingly cross!

Until finally the penny drops and the children realise that it's a question Joe just doesn't want to answer and that Joe is playing a rather good game, one that they can join in with if they can stop fixating on his missing leg.

A ground-breaking, funny story that helps children understand what it might feel like to be seen as different.

“Catchpole’s beautifully judged, child-friendly words ably evoke the fatigue and wariness of repeatedly being asked the same question rather than simply being accepted and allowed to play, while George’s warm images amplify the delight of shared imagination” - The Guardian

“This book is fabulous. What Happened to You? beautifully depicts childhood with a limb difference in an honest and welcome way... Everyone should read it!” - Cerrie Burnell

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