Monday, August 2, 2010

We'll Paint the Octopus Red by Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen

This is an amazing book about a little girl, Emma, who is happily awaiting the birth of a new baby brother and sister. She carefully plans all sorts of fun things that they will be able to do together. Going on a safari, painting, playing ball, making faces, and go to her Grandfather's farm and feed the calves. When the baby is born Emma's Dad is very sad when tells her that Isaac has Down Syndrome. Emma immediately thinks that this means they won't be able to do any of the fun things she had planned, but as she and Dad talk they both realize that Isaac will still be able to do everything, he just might do a little later than they expected. The book ends with Emma meeting her new brother and telling him that she is going to teach him how to paint the octopus red. This is a terrific book that explains Down Syndrome in simple, straight-forward language that children can understand and also illustrates that disability doesn't mean that you can't live a fun filled life. There is a glossary at the back of the book that defines different terminology associated with the syndrome and answers questions that a child may have when he or she first hears the news about a sibling. Where to Buy: This book was originally published in 1998 but is still widely available. You can find it on line at Amazon or go directly to the publisher ( where you can find all sorts of other children's books that address variety of special needs conditions.

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