We'll Paint the Octopus Red
We'll Paint the Octopus Red
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Annotation: Emma and her father discuss what they will do when the new baby arrives, but they adjust their expectations when he is born with Down syndrome.
Catalog Number: #3323843
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
No other formats available
Publisher: Woodbine House
Copyright Date: 1998
Edition Date: 1998
Illustrator: DeVito, Pam,
Pages: 25
Availability: Available
ISBN: 1-89062-706-2
ISBN 13: 978-1-89062-706-5
Dewey: E
LCCN: 98020591
Dimensions: 22 x 28 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
What starts as a regular new-baby story takes an unexpected twist. The young redheaded narrator is at first displeased with the idea of a new sibling but then has lots of ideas about what they might do together. She will take the baby to her grandfather's farm and feed the calves. Her father says they can do that when the baby is older. She will teach the baby to paint. Her father says they can do that when the baby is older. She will take the baby to Africa on a photo safari. Her father says fine, but only if he can go, too. After the girl and her father are finished talking, she says, We'd thought of at least a million things my new brother or sister could do with me. Then, Father comes home with the news that baby Isaac has been born with Down syndrome. Her father is upset, but as the girl asks her questions all over again, they both see that although it may take a little longer and require more patience, they can't find one of those million things that Isaac won't be able to do with their help. The fine text gets right to a child's level of understanding, and the positive messages of acceptance and helping may best be understood by children this age. An appended question-and-answer spread, written at a child's level, tells what Down syndrome is, why some babies have it, and why parents may feel sad when the baby is born. Ink-and-watercolor pictures, while not expertly executed, do exude a warm feeling that matches the story. Although the book skirts some issues that Isaac may face (e.g., intolerance, illness), this is a thoughtful, focused book that will be of enormous help to families with Down syndrome children. (Reviewed September 15, 1998)
Horn Book
When young Emma learns she'll have a new sibling soon, she thinks of all the activities she can do with the baby. But when her brother Isaac is born with Down syndrome, her father explains that she can probably do all of the activities she had planned, but that Isaac might require more time, patience, and help to do them. Unremarkable illustrations accompany the story, which focuses on portraying Isaac as a baby, rather than a baby with Down syndrome. Information about Down syndrome is appended.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-Emma isn't happy to learn that she will soon be a big sister. After talking with her father, however, she thinks of "at least a million things my new brother or sister could do with me," and she eagerly awaits her sibling's arrival. When Isaac is born, the family is confronted with the fact that he has Down Syndrome. Emma's father explains that Isaac will still be able to do all of the things that Emma has thought of; he will just do them at a slower pace. The story ends on a high note with an excited Emma and her father visiting Isaac and her mother in the hospital. A well-thought-out question-and-answer section completes this bibliotherapeutic title. Although the artwork lacks the warmth of the text and Emma's skin tone and hair color are inconsistently portrayed, this is an appropriate title for parenting collections or as an additional purchase for children's collections.- Lisa Gangemi Krapp, Sousa Elementary School, Port Washington, NY
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
ALA Booklist (9/1/98)
Horn Book (4/1/99)
School Library Journal
Word Count: 1,537
Reading Level: 4.1
Interest Level: P-2
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.1 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 103340 / grade: Lower Grades

As six-year-old Emma anticipates the birth of her new baby brother or sister, she vividly imagines all of the things they can do together. Emma feels ready to be a big sister! Then when the baby is born, her dad tells her that it's a boy and he has something called Down syndrome. Finally she asks, "If Isaac has this Down thing, then what can't he do?". Her dad thinks about it, then tells her that as long as they are patient with him, and help him when he needs it, there probably isn't anything Isaac can't do. In this touching story, Emma helps her father as much as he helps her to realise that Isaac is the baby they dreamed of. The book concludes with a set of commonly asked questions about Down syndrome with answers for children and how it might affect their sibling and family. For ages 3-7.

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