There are not many children’s books relating to tracheostomy. A tracheostomy is a tube that is placed to help someone breathe. A ventilator can be attached to the tracheostomy tube to provide ventilation. As of 2017, the average number of tracheostomies has steadily increased to >100,000 annually and approximately 4,000 were performed in pediatric patients.
Trachie-O-Potamus’s Big Race fills a need for children with tracheostomy to have inclusive an inclusive book. It highlights the power of accepting others’ differences. The book is written by Timothy Runyon, a speech-language pathologist specializing in adult and pediatric patients with tracheostomy.
Trachie-O-Potamus’s Big Race is a sweet story about a hippo with a tracheostomy tube, who breathes differently than his friends. With the help of his friend Ginger Giraffe, Trachie-O-Potamus learns to overcome low self-esteem, participates in the Big Race, and learns the value of teamwork. The book also provides a very basic tracheostomy overview, and the big, colorful illustrations serve as a great review of simple action verbs and animal vocabulary!
Here is a review from Emily Oxford at Reader’s Choice: “Timothy Runyon’s picture book story, Trachie-O-Potamus’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-Potamus as the main character, the author demonstrates the difficulties presented to those forced to breathe through a tracheostomy tube. All Trachie-O-Potamus 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.”
The book has also garnered wonderful reviews from families of those with tracheostomy. One mother writes, “This is such a cute book! I have a 2 year old who has a trach and I thought it was so cool to have a book with a character that has a trach like him. Both my boys thought it was funny and enjoy when I read it to them! I think it’s a great way to help kids with trachs feel included but also to show others that it’s okay to be different and have a trach. Definitely recommend to everyone but especially families with trached kids.”
The durable hardcover book would make a fun and powerful addition to any hospital discharge packet, gift shop, or pediatric outpatient waiting room. Pediatric Pulmonologists, Pediatricians, Child Psychologists, Speech-Language Pathologists, Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, and any number of professionals could seamlessly integrate the book into their daily practices, from use in therapy to a token of comfort and inspiration to frightened families.
Hardcover available only at Tracheostomy Education