Friday, February 3, 2012

Children's Book Review: Susan Laughs

Susan Laughs

Susan Laughs
Written by: Jeanne Willis
Illustrated by:  Tony Ross
Published by: Henry Holt and Co., 2000

Told in rhyme, this story follows Susan through a series of familiar activities. She swims with her father, works hard in school, plays with her friends -- and even rides a horse. Lively, thoughtfully drawn illustrations reveal a portrait of a busy, happy little girl with whom younger readers will identify. Not until the end of the story is it revealed that Susan uses a wheelchair.

Told with insight, and without sentimentality, here is an inspiring look at one spunky little girl whose physical disability is never seen as a handicap.

* I like to read a variety of literature to my kids and try to find books on about all different topics, including children with disabilities.  We've recently read a book about a boy who was blind (Keep Your Ear On The Ball) and I read this one last night about a girl in a wheelchair.  It is written in two word sentences, with rhyming text. Throughout the book the author, Jeanne Willis, shows the reader all the things that Susan likes to do.  Children can relate to Susan swimming, playing at the park, creating art projects.  Only at the very end is it revealed that Susan is in a wheelchair. We went back after reading to look for clues to see if we knew that she was in a wheelchair.  I reiterated the message to my kids that kids in wheelchairs can do everything that they like to do. 

Family Rating: 1 thumb up.

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