Bethy and the Mouse
God’s Gifts in Special Packages
Donald C. Bakely
ISBN 1-57129-035-4, $16.95
A moving collection of a fatherís experiences with two very different “special” children. (Bethy, the Bakelysí seventh child, has Down syndrome. Their fifth child, Matthew — affectionately known as “The Mouse” during his short life because he was so small — was born with microcephaly, an underdeveloped brain.) Free verse, prose, photographs, and progress reports interweave in a sensitive portrait of the first five years of life with a disabled child — the joys of achievement, the agony of loss, and the overwhelming love. Parents of newborns with handicapping conditions will find the book especially encouraging, as it helps them see past the initial fear to the joy and hope that await them. Other parents will see their own feelings expressed in the book and want to share it with the people around them. An ideal gift book for anyone whose life has been altered by a childís disability.
Don Bakely is a Methodist minister. He, his wife Jeanne, and their daughter Beth (now 20 and attending college) live in Kansas City.