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Reviewed by Hilary Hawkes for Readers' Favorite
Lady Bird: Shawn’s Sixth Sense by Gracie Bradford is a short book about a ten-year-old boy, Shawn, and how he adapts to a sight disability with the help of his friend and doggie pal, Lady Bird. Lady Bird is a beagle whose instincts and senses enable her to look out for Shawn. Through this, Shawn learns to cope with everyday life at home and school – discovering that he can trust his own instincts and senses too. In his quest to understand his feelings and instincts, he renames friends as taste, touch, sight, hearing and smell. The role of each of these senses is explained - each having a useful and beneficial role. He comes to a place where he understands his needs, and feels confident and happy to be just the way he is.
Lady Bird: Shawn’s Sixth Sense is a unique and interesting story about finding inner resources that enable us to cope with situations that may at first seem disabling and too difficult. Children will love the adorable beagle and her loyalty, patience, and inspiring way of nudging Shawn to find solutions to difficulties. The two share many character traits in the way they allow their instincts to teach and guide them, and they learn from each other. The author conveys their love for and understanding of each other very well.
Many young readers will have experienced the fun and enjoyment of owning and training a dog, and so will identify with Shawn’s love and friendship with Lady Bird. Shawn is an enterprising little boy, and is motivated to help himself, and it is this that Lady Bird is able to nurture. A story that could be shared with children and used to promote further discussion and understanding of ourselves, others and disabilities.