Hannah’s Christmas Wish: How The Idea Was Born
I thought it would be appropriate to introduce you to how this picture book came about as an introduction to this blog.
You won’t believe it, but “Hannah’s Christmas Wish” picture book is based on a true story. The kindergarten where my son went was also attended by a girl in a wheelchair. This is her story:
In our country, it is customary for Santa Claus to visit children during Christmas and to bring them gifts. As usual, this little girl wrote her letter to Santa one night while she was with her parents, and she gave it to them in hopes that they would send it off to Santa in the post.
The girl in the wheelchair also drew her wish. When her parents looked at her letter and drawing, they were dumbfounded, knowing that they would not be able to fulfill her wish, even if they were really Santa himself. The girl drew herself with a joyful smile running without any cares across a meadow with the other children. The girl’s parents, did not know what to do to make their beautiful daughter happy, or how to fulfill her unique wish.
For help and advice on how to explain that her wishes could not be fulfilled by anyone, not even Santa Claus, her parents turned to the kindergarten — which is from where the news of this special wish quickly spread through the town.
I soon heard the news of this event myself. I began to observe and monitor what wishes the other children had written and drawn. And in addition to material things – a variety of toys, clothes, and digital accessories, other wishes were simply so deep yet so simple. Many of these wishes were things that parents wouldn’t need money to fulfill, but simply themselves, their presence, closeness, and loving embrace. In that I saw the essence of celebrating Christmas, the essence of life.
That’s when I got the idea to write this story about it. However, the story of Hannah’s Christmas Wish was written a few years later, as I wanted to connect the story to some larger story and purpose. This larger picture came to me suddenly when one day I saw a photo of a child rocking on a swing with his wheelchair, adapted for this purpose, on the Internet. This saddened me on the one hand, but the expression on his face was so…, so… happy, satisfied, excited that he could do things that until then only physically healthy children could do. That gave me an idea.
I decided to publish my first book, and part of the proceeds from the sale of the book would be used to set up a swing for disabled children at a local children’s playground, because at that time in Slovenia there were practically no such toys adapted for children with reduced mobility. I wanted all the children here to laugh happily and feel included in the beautiful community through play.
With this inspiration, I have created Hannah’s world, and I have strived since then to make the most out of the help and support from all those who buy and read “Hannah’s Christmas Wish”, and I will continue to strive for inclusion, equality, and representation of all of life’s trials in my books.
I also want to personally thank each and every one of you reading this for your support, whether you’re new here or you’ve been here from the very beginning; and I want to let you know that you do make a difference, however small, in the lives of your children and all the children whose lives this amazing project touches. I thank you for being you, and for being here.