When Rachel Reinsch learned her son was going to be born with a left clubfoot, she had no idea what to expect — and was apprehensive about caring for her child and the struggles and challenges the Reinsch’s might face.
After extensive research, the Rosebank resident learned that clubfoot, or talipes equinovarus, is a birth defect that occurs in nearly 1 in 1,000 babies.
Thankfully, it doesn’t cause pain or discomfort and is treatable with very high success rates using the Ponseti method – a series of casts followed by boots attached with a bar.
While there are plenty of articles and literature on the subject, Rachel found only a small number of children’s books devoted to clubfoot. As a result, she was inspired to write her first children’s book to raise awareness about the condition so that children and parents become aware that clubfoot is very treatable and won’t stop their babies from dancing.
“There were not many books for kids about clubfoot, so I wanted to write one to add the catalog. It is important for children to see themselves in the stories they read.” She was motivated to write her own book, and with a passion for dance, she knew exactly what she wanted to convey.
Within a short time “Boots & Barnyard Boogie” was born — the story about Rachel’s son, Max, and his adventure to his grandmother’s farm, where he meets a bunch of dancing animals and learns why it’s so important to wear his boots and bar every night to treat his clubfoot.
And Rachel reveals a portion of all sales will go to MiracleFeet.org. MiracleFeet is bringing the low-cost, nonsurgical care for clubfoot, routinely provided in advanced health systems, to low-income countries.
The book is illustrated by a Staten Island artist, Monique Cheri Welsh (@la_Femme_Cheri) who Rachel met through her husband’s non-profit, Projectivity. Monique paints murals of bright, colorful characters with fun bold features, throughout New York City and Rachel knew the style would be perfect for the illustrations.
With the help of Projectivity setting up pages and helping with printing, Rachel has self-published “Boots and Barnyard Boogie” and it is now available to order.
The book may be purchased at www.bootsandbarnyardboogie.com.
Rachel Reinsch is a licensed special education teacher at Markham Intermediate School, Graniteville, and a dance educator for the New York City Department of Education.