Mom and Son Made Into Characters in Popular Children's Book
Amy Berkheimer reads to her son Eli every day.
"We like to read to him more stories rather than big picture books because he can't always really look at the pictures," she said.
Eli is 5-years-old and his cerebral palsy keeps him from speaking or walking. Outside he's limited to a wheelchair.
Berkheimer said, "I always said Eli is an observer of the world and so it's about taking him places that he can see fun things."
Whether it's taking him outside, or taking his imagination into a book.
When Berkheimer picked up a children's book last year called Wendy on Wheels about a little girl in a wheelchair it seemed like a perfect fit.
Berkheimer liked the books so much, she contacted the author to tell her about Eli. The St. Louis based writer wrote Eli into the storyline of her new book, after seeing pictures of him on Amy's blog.
Author Angela Ruzicka said, "and there was this really cute picture of Amy holding Eli, and it was just really touching to me. It was really just the love between the two of them, I could just feel it."
When Berkheimer saw the book she was ecstatic. She took it to work and showed it to her friends. That's when they noticed a familiar face, and Berkheimer emailed the author asking if she was the character.
Berkheimer said, "she said 'it is you' and so it's just been really exciting."
Berkheimer is honored she and eli are featured in a book, and happy these stories bring to light a different reality many children face.
"Just showing that kids are kids and it doesn't matter if they have wheels or not," she said.