When Kaley discovers that she needs to have heart surgery, she is introduced to new doctors, hospitals, and diagnoses. At first she feels overwhelmed, but before long, she receives a mysterious gift: a book about Morrie, a caterpillar who needs help making his chrysalis so he can turn into a butterfly. This lyrical fairytale helps Kaley to be brave throughout the surgery and recovery process—and to find her own inner beauty.

Inspired by a true story, Chrysalis is an early chapter book that infuses fact and fable. It is written to be inclusive of older kids and teens with developmental disabilities such as autism, cerebral palsy, and Down syndrome. It supports knowledge, attitudes, and social-emotional skills related to surgery and recovery. The book includes checklists for kids and caregivers, a caregivers’ conversation guide, and links to additional resources.

Now available on Amazon.

The cover of "Chrysalis." Top-center text reads "Chrysalis: By Deanna Altomara, Illustrated by Yifei Gao." Image shows a young girl looking into a mirror and seeing herself reflected back with butterfly wings.

Want to learn more?

The True Story of Chrysalis

Behind the Scenes: Chrysalis and Public Health Theory

Resources for Pediatric Hospitalizations