Charlie the Click Bug
by Raymond Sobrino Jr.

"Charlie gained self confidence with every smile he gave, and every smile he received back."

As this cleverly constructed children's story begins, the amiable bug Charlie is just starting elementary school. A friendly fellow, he makes new friends quickly. At his desk among his classmates, he and they and even the teacher all are smiling. Then one day, as he and his friends are walking home from school together, something happens to Charlie. He awakens to find himself lying on the ground, having been completely unconscious. Clicking, or falling upside down, can occur among other bugs purposely as a natural defense mechanism, but what happened to Charlie was entirely outside his control. This leads to a medical diagnosis of epilepsy, which can be controlled with medication. However, Charlie would still need to be careful, as an unpredictable fall could have serious consequences. Now Charlie is sad, sure that "no one will like me now." But heartening words from the right source help him regain his confidence.

Sobrino, the creator of this engaging and informative tale, must surely be motivated by a sincere wish to alert children (and their parents) to the major symptom of epilepsy and possible remedies to deal with it. The book will likely help those with the condition to accept its effects and those around them to be alert and helpful. Charlie's initial happiness, fall, emotional distress, and later sense of peacefulness as he learns to smile away his sadness are brightly illustrated in full-page format mated with the text. The book concludes with Charlie, a sweet, dreamy look on his face, watching his friends playing outside, content in the knowledge that everyone, as his mother and father have gently but wisely informed him, has some challenges, and everyone is special, too. Sobrino's short, emotive fable presents solid, practical material for people living with epilepsy and those near and dear to them.

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