Welcome to Illinois

Books for children about Down’s syndrome

Posted in Toys by Matt at WelcometoIllinois on February 19, 2009

How do you explain Down’s syndrome to a three-year-old? It’s a question that’s been on my mind recently, even though there doesn’t seem to be a great need to do so at the moment (my wife has mentioned it to J on one occasion but he was too busy pretending to be a tiger or something).

Amy Silverman has written an interesting post about the books she found in her “Down syndrome box”.

They include some of the most recommended books on Amazon – We’ll Paint the Octopus Red and The Best Worst Brother – both of which get short shrift:

“The real truth is that if these books weren’t about Down syndrome, I’d never, ever give them a second look in a bookstore. The writing’s sappy and dull and — even worse — the illustrations suck.”

The third book – What’s Wrong with Timmy? – is described as “even worse”.


Amy does have good things to say about My Friend Isabelle by Eliza Woloson, which is the only one of the books mentioned that I hadn’t heard of before and she describes as “whimsical, funny, beautifully illustrated and a little bit heart breaking”.

Does anyone else have any good suggestions?


2 Responses

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  1. rickismom said, on February 20, 2009 at 12:49 am

    Woodbine put out a series of books several years ago, about a boy with DS—no mention is made… but you can see it.
    He is shown doing things. I saw only one of the three books (Russ and the Almost Perfect Day , by Janet Elizabeth Rickert), and it was very good, showing him in aninclusion setting, and his struggle with the moral question of whether to return lost money he found.
    Problem is, they are out of print, and cost way too much to buy on Yahoo. (Maybe Amazon has cheaper?) Maybe one can find in an inter library loan.

  2. Beth said, on March 6, 2009 at 10:30 pm

    It’s been ten years (almost 11!) and no, I have not been satisfied with any of the children’s books that approach the topic of Ds. When Hannah was born I was looking for a non-fiction book that was aimed at the 7-11 sibling age range. A book that covers the medical and developmental issues that are common in the Down syndrome population. I always thought that I’d write that book, but I agree with you that there needs to be a pre-school book as well. I know I won’t get to writing either for several more years…

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