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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Imagine having to breathe through a tracheostomy tube. That would really slow you down, make your talking difficult, and running almost impossible. That’s how Trachie-O-Potomus breathes. A lot of children have the same issue as Trachie-O-Potomus. But they’re children just like all the other children; they want to feel included, loved, accepted. Trachie-O-Potomus is feeling sad. The big race is about to happen and he knows he’ll lose because he can’t breathe well enough. His friend Ginger the giraffe comes to his rescue and points out that he, too, has a handicap. With his long neck, he sometimes has trouble seeing what’s at his feet and he stumbles and runs into things. Ginger suggests a team effort to win the race. Will Ginger’s idea work? Trachie-O-Potomus is certainly keen to try and is feeling much more positive, too.
Timothy Runyon’s picture book story, Trachie-O-Potomus’s Big Race, is a touching story that addresses the issue of differences, only these differences are a result of a medical condition that not only affects how someone looks but how they speak and do things as well. Using Trachie-O-Potomus as the main character, the author demonstrates the difficulties presented to those forced to breathe through a tracheostomy tube. All Trachie-O-Potomus wants is the opportunity to participate, to feel included and loved. That’s what every child wants. As well as teaching young readers about this condition, the author points out that there are ways to help those with different medical conditions feel loved and included and that it’s important to work together as a team. Told with care and compassion and with beautiful illustrations.