ben's buddies, nga hoa o ben
Written by Sharon Holt
Illustrated by Deborah Hinde
Translated into te reo Maori by Ray Harlow
This book is short, sweet and beautifully illustrated for children. It opens with a very gentle introduction to epilepsy by explaining that Ben and his canine companion and "best friend", Lulu, have something in common. They both have epilepsy.
The book starts by showing Lulu having a seizure, taking a little time to recover and then shaking it off to carry on playing in the park with Ben and his friends.
We next see Ben in school telling his classmates and teacher what happened to Lulu. He goes on to explain that it could also happen to him as he has epilepsy too. The next few pages show what to do in the event of Ben having a seizure at school.
Ben's buddies was written to help demystify epilepsy and break down barriers, which it does in an entirely appropriate manner for children. It would also be a useful resource for teachers and school staff as there's a very clear and accessible seizure action plan page at the end of the book.
Ben's Buddies has been produced by the Epilepsy Waikato Charitable Trust, an organisation based in New Zealand aiming to improve the quality of life for those who have epilepsy. The text is in English and in te reo Maori. It costs $15 NZ - roughly £6.25 at today's exchange rate - plus shipping. It can be ordered via Epilepsy Waikato Charitable Trust.