Arts + Culture

Just Like You, A Children’s Book About Acceptance and Inclusion

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When values of acceptance and kindness are instilled early, children’s minds and worlds expand. That is the lesson of this extraordinary new children’s book – Just Like You – an endearing tale about Henry, a deaf field mouse and his best friend Boris, a spider with a bad leg who are bullied. They live in The Piney Forest with the other animals who tease and taunt them because they don’t act, walk or talk like the others. After repeated attempts to fit in, a discouraged Boris and Henry are forced to stay by themselves. When fire threatens their forest homes, Boris and Henry rally to help their fellow critters and teach us about character and honor.

The spectacular images found in Just Like You were designed by first-time illustrator, Hannah E. Harrison. Hannah’s beautiful illustrations help children understand the message of the story and the added animated touches turn the characters into charming and loveable friends.

Just Like You is written by Robert Kroupa, a Chicago entrepreneur, inventor (who appeared on ABC-TV’s Shark Tank) and civic activist. He wrote this tale for young children in response to the epidemic of bullying. Said Kroupa, “Through my personal experiences from childhood, helping children understand the value of tolerance and inclusion from a young age has been a passion of mine. I hope that Just Like You will inspire children to accept, appreciate and celebrate the similarities and differences in all of us.”

Just Like You is available through the Just Like You Foundation ( for $16.95 plus shipping. 100% of the profit from each sale is earmarked by the buyer to one of four charities, including 1) The HollyRod Foundation 2) PACER Center, 3) Art of Elysium and 4) The Center For Discovery.  Challenge Unlimited, a not-for-profit organization based in Alton, Illinois, serves as the Just Like You fulfillment house.  Its mission is to provide work related opportunities to individuals with disabilities.