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

Published: 1st January 1998Goodreads badge
Publisher:
Woodbine House
Illustrator: Pam Devito
Pages: 28
Format: Hardcover Picture Book
★   ★   ★   ★  – 4 Stars

As six-year-old Emma anticipates the birth of her new baby brother or sister, she imagines all of the things they can do together. They’ll go to Grandpa’s farm to feed the calves, ride in the back of the mini-van making faces at the cars that go by, fly on airplanes, and someday, they’ll even go to Africa on a safari.

I will admit I got a little teary at the end of this book because the message is so wonderful. Stube-Bodeen’s story is about a little girl named Emma who has big plans for her new baby brother. Emma tells her dad that when the baby grows up she will play with him, read to him, and take him on plane rides and to the art festival. These plans, however, are suddenly in doubt when she discovers he was born with Down syndrome.

Emma’s dad explains to her what Down syndrome is and what it means for her new baby brother, Isaac. Emma listens and slowly understands, and she asks her dad if she will still be able to do all her big plans with Isaac like she wanted to.

I loved how this introduces Down syndrome to kids. It normalises it, makes it ok, but also makes it clear that there will be some challenges along the way both for Isaac and his family. I think this book would be great at teaching kids about the disability and helps them understand exactly what it means and how it relates to activities that they understand.

There is also an excellent information page at the end of the story that provides all sorts of information on Down syndrome and normalises it for kids and helps them understand. It’s a fantastic little book and one that can help kids understand if they know someone with this condition.

You can purchase We’ll Paint the Octopus Red via the following

Amazon | Book Depository

Booktopia | Wordery

Dymocks

 

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