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As a child growing up, I always wanted to be like the characters in the storybooks. This is a common wish for all children. But children suffering from physical deformities often feel isolated by the fact that they bear no resemblance to the children depicted in their storybooks. Now, Thanks to Katies’s Dream, children and parents of children with cleft lip and palate have one less thing to worry about.

Based on the true story of author Mariette Vermeylen-Nuyt’s daughter, Katie’s Dream is about a musically inclined girl with a cleft lip and palate. While Katie must put off her dream of playing the flute until after her operation, she learns not to put her dreams on hold altogether and instead learns to play the harp. This heart warming story teaches children that while dreams may seem out of reach because of their disabilities, taking the longer road may make the journey woth the while.

Another book, Julie Graham’s Special Smile, is a wonderful teaching tool for all children and should be read in all Kindergarten classrooms. While the goal is to teach children with special smiles about their cleft lip and palate, the book can also educate other children about these malformities, and encourage them accept these boys and girls with special smiles for who they are. Providing all children with an understanding of cleft lip and palate fosters the social acceptence that all children need.

To learn more about these and other books designed for children with cleft lip and palate, please visit

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