Rugby mother and son feature on BBC dwarfism documentary

Seven-year-old Samuel with the book his mother wrote.
Seven-year-old Samuel with the book his mother wrote.

A Rugby mother who wrote a book to challenge prejudice after her son was born with a form of dwarfism has been featured on a critically acclaimed documentary.

Kristina Gray and her son, seven-year-old Samuel, featured on the BBC4 documentary, Dwarfs in Art: A New Perspective, which charts the representation of people with dwarfism in art and culture.

The production company behind the documentary reached out to Kristina after discovering her book, Strong and Mighty Max, which charts the life of a little boy who, although smaller than average, is brave and fun-loving.

Kristina said: “The documentary is not light, it’s quite hard-hitting. It shows the history of the representation of people with dwarfism – from freak show acts, pets for royalty and fictional representations, like in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

“My book was chosen as an example of a positive representation.”

In the documentary, Samuel can be seen reading extracts from the book and explaining his condition.

Kristina was moved to write the book to challenge prejudice towards people with dwarfism after her son was born with achondroplasia – meaning he is short in stature and has shorter limbs.

Kristina said one of the main drives towards writing the book was when a doctor told her Samuel could one day have a job at a circus.

“I was so taken aback that a highly educated person could say something like that,” she said. “I replied that Samuel could one day be a doctor or an accountant – he could be anything he wanted.”

To view the documentary, visit bbc.in/2MtBecw.

The book is available on Amazon, Waterstones online or on strongandmightymax.com.