David Walliams was inspired by Dante, 11, to create a book based on a boy in a wheelchair.
Variety Young Ambassador, Dante, met David Walliams with 11 other children to hear him read a story.
However, Dante had another agenda, and knew exactly what he wanted to ask him.
Dante, from Liverpool, challenged the UK’s leading children’s author to invent a new sort of super hero – in a wheelchair.
Dante asked the Little Britain star: “Please write a book about a boy in a wheelchair to show kids that they are special transporters and can take you anywhere your imagination wants to go? Maybe he could be called Dante!”
Dante explained after the meeting: “I went to meet ‘the’ David Walliams – well, David Walliams met ‘the’ Dante. It was probably the best experience of his life!”
“I said could you make me one of the characters in your book, so I can show other kids that even if you’re in a wheelchair you can go as far as your imagination.”
He added that his character could declare: “I’m Dante and I’m here for the disabled!”
David told Dante: “Of course I can! The thing is, what we want in children’s books is for everyone to be represented. In all kinds of ways.
“You don’t want it all to be boys. You don’t want it all to be girls.
“You want it to be people of colour. And, of course, being in a wheelchair is a very specific thing that could be represented.
“So, you know what? I haven’t done it yet but I will try! The thing you’ve got to do as an author, as much as you want to write about all kinds of stuff, is you’ve got to think of a story as well. But you’ve inspired me today.
“We’ll see! You’ve also got a great name for a character. What I do think you should do is write your own story as well.”
Dante suffers from Brittle bone condition and to date has broken almost 100 bones in his 11 years of life.
However, he tells people he has no disabilities only abilities and his being in a wheelchair is no barrier to his dreams of being in the Para Olympics one day.
Dante’s mother applied to Variety, the children’s charity for disabled and disadvantaged youngster, for a wheelchair as the wheelchair he was using was not suitable for his small frame.
Variety believes that neither disability nor disadvantage should prevent a child from realising their full potential.
Since setting up its UK division in 1949, the charity has supported almost one million disabled and disadvantaged children.
The charity helps children in many ways including providing customised wheelchairs, helping to increase independence and improve medical outcomes.
Variety launched in the United States in 1928 and is the oldest international children’s charity. It has divisions across 13 countries (United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Jersey, Republic of Ireland, France, Israel, Japan, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Australia, Barbados and Eastern Caribbean) helping children at the local community level.
For more information or to donate to Variety, please visit www.variety.org.uk
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