Charlotte's Shadow

Children - Social Issues
27 Pages
Reviewed on 01/12/2023
Buy on Amazon

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Free Book Program, which is open to all readers and is completely free. The author will provide you with a free copy of their book in exchange for an honest review. You and the author will discuss what sites you will post your review to and what kind of copy of the book you would like to receive (eBook, PDF, Word, paperback, etc.). To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.

Author Biography

Developmental Psychologist, Anne-Marie DePape and Social Worker, Christine Quaglia have always wanted to write a children’s book featuring a main character with a disability. This kind of book was not available when Anne-Marie and Christine were children and impacted their beliefs around disability. For Christine, who has a neuromuscular disorder and has used a wheelchair from a young age, this impact was even more pronounced as it shaped her identity when she could not find herself in the pages of her favourite childhood books.
Charlotte’s Shadow is the first children’s book for both authors and its journey leads readers to discover that Shadow is more than a pet, he’s a service dog.

The book is written from the dog’s perspective, which allows readers to see Charlotte as Shadow sees her and that is as a larger-than-life superhero.

Both Anne-Marie and Christine believe that representation like that found in Charlotte’s Shadow matters, with children with or without disabilities knowing that “if you can see it, you can be it”.
Anne-Marie and Christine are grateful for the positive response they have received from their book based on the feedback from parents, teachers and children alike. They have been invited to provide readings of their book at schools and libraries along with interviews on television, radio and print medias. They hope this book will initiate important conversations about disability, inclusion and resiliency as well as the role of service dogs.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Savannah Aldridge for Readers' Favorite

Charlotte’s Shadow by Anne-Marie DePape and Christine Quaglia is a fun and informative picture book told from the perspective of a service dog. Shadow sees his owner, Charlotte—a girl who uses a wheelchair—as a superhero, and is excited to work beside her through a day full of errands. On their journey, Shadow and Charlotte visit family, do chores for Mommy, and cross a busy street together. They even encounter questions from another child—“Why are you allowed to bring your dog here?”—that end with a new friendship. Throughout their journey, we learn about what service dogs do and how to interact with them, and we see that Charlotte is a joyful and capable kid with a fulfilling life. This is a wonderful picture book for children who use a wheelchair to see themselves as a main character, and for other children to learn more about living with disabilities in a helpful way.

As someone with wheelchair users in my family, I enjoyed the way that Charlotte’s Shadow shows a full day in the lives of the protagonists, whereas many stories don’t show disabled characters in the spotlight. My favorite moment was showing a conversation between Charlotte and another child who wanted to know why Shadow was allowed in the library. What a great way to break the stigma around treating disabilities as taboo while also explaining appropriate ways to interact with service animals! Illustrator Kenzie Edge’s art style is creative and vibrant, showing diverse people and bringing the reader into Charlotte and Shadow’s world. Text sections are in several short paragraphs on each page, so this book is well-suited for story time with an older reader, or for an early reader seeking a small challenge to read on their own.