What Happened to You? (Hardcover)

What Happened to You? By James Catchpole, Karen George (Illustrator) Cover Image
By James Catchpole, Karen George (Illustrator)
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Other Books in Series

This is book number 1 in the What Happened to You? series.


A Schneider Family Book Award Honor book! This accessible, funny, and groundbreaking story addresses the questions children often ask, as well as a disabled child's choice not to answer.

What happened to you? Was it a shark? A burglar? A lion? Did it fall off? A boy named Joe is trying to play pirates at the playground, but he keeps being asked what happened to his leg. Bombarded with questions and silly suggestions, Joe becomes more and more fed up...until the kids finally understand they don't need to know what happened. And that they’re wasting valuable playtime!

Based on the author’s real childhood experiences, this honest, funny, and authentic picture book is an empowering read for anyone with a disability, and for young readers learning how best to address differences.

About the Author

James Catchpole runs The Catchpole Agency with his wife Lucy and is the author of What Happened to You? James lives in the United Kingdom with Lucy and their two young daughters and invites you to visit their family online at thecatchpoles.net and on Instagram @thecatchpoles.

Karen George received a first class honors degree in Fine Art as well as an MA from The Royal College of Art. She has also won Waterstone’s "Picture This" competition to illustrate Freddie and the Fairy and now joyfully spends her time drawing, painting, and writing. Karen lives in Bristol with her family and Dr. Calamari the cat. Find her online at karengeorge.net and on Instagram @karengeorge_books.

Praise For…

A Schneider Family Book Award Honor Book
A Kirkus Best Picture Book of the Year
A Junior Library Guild Selection
A 2024 Nevada Young Readers’ Award Nominee
A 2024-2025 Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Book Award Nominee

* "Delightful, necessary, and long overdue."—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

* "Too few picture books recognize and validate the full, happy lives of children who have disabilities; this one does both with sensitivity, good will, and humor."—The Horn Book, starred review

"As a person with a limb difference, 'What happened to you?' is a question I get asked just about every day. With playful illustrations, silly scenarios, and important life lessons, this book teaches us all what's actually important when we make a new friend: seeing them for who they are on the inside. Every child should have this book on their shelf."—Josh Sundquist, author of We Should Hang Out Sometime

"Basing the story on his own experiences, the author addresses both sides of the query with humor and empathy.... While humorous gouache and colored-pencil illustrations of imagined scenarios keep the tone light, the message comes through clearly."—Booklist

"Inspired by author Catchpole’s own experience growing up with a disability, the book deftly tackles a serious subject with levity, heart, and understanding. The lighthearted story teaches children (and adults) how to be around people with disabilities and to look past outward appearances to what really matters."—Christian Science Monitor

Product Details
ISBN: 9780316506472
ISBN-10: 0316506478
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: April 11th, 2023
Pages: 40
Language: English
Series: What Happened to You?