Last Updated:
May 18, 2007

Recommended Books About Down Syndrome
For Children

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Compiled by Dr. Len Leshin

Note: Clicking on either the book cover or title will take you to where you can order the book.
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Be Good to Eddie Lee Be Good to Eddie Lee
by Virginia Fleming, Floyd Cooper. Philomel Books, Reprinted 1997
Reading level: ages 4 - 8 years. "Christy's mother always tells her to be good to Eddie Lee, a neighborhood child with Down Syndrome. But Christy wants to run and play and not worry about Eddie Lee tagging along. One hot summer day, though, Eddie Lee takes Christy to a secret place in the woods and teaches her that beautiful things can be found in unexpected places."
Our Brother Has Down's Syndrome Our Brother Has Down's Syndrome
by Shelley Cairo, Jasmine Cairo, Tara Cairo. Firefly Books, 1988
Reading level: ages 4 - 8 years. Synopsis by the NDSS:"A book of color photos and text to introduce and explain Down syndrome to young children, especially siblings. It is a personalized account of a young boy, Jai, as told by his two sisters."
We'll Paint the Octopus Red We'll Paint the Octopus Red
by Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen and Pam Devito. Woodbine House, 1998
Reading level: ages 4 - 8 years. "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. Information about Down syndrome is appended."
How Smudge Came How Smudge Came (Northern Lights Books for Children)
by Nan Gregory, illustr. by Ron Lightburn. Walker & Company, 1997
Reading level: ages 5 - 8 years. The story of a young woman with Down syndrome named Cindy who finds a puppy; but puppies aren't allowed in the group home where she lives, so she hides the puppy named Smudge in her room. "What will Cindy do? Strong-willed and loving as she may be, rules are rules: Who will care for Smudge? The answer comes in a most unexpected way, and for Cindy and her friends at the hospice, it's the perfect solution."
Where's Chimpy? Where's Chimpy
by Berniece Rabe, Kathleen Tucker, Diane Schmidt. Albert Whitman & Co, 1991
Reading level: ages 4 - 6 years. "Rabe's simple plot is the vehicle for a joyous, unaffected portrait and Schmidt's full-color, perceptive photos depict naturally the daily life of a captivating little girl and her special dad. Excellent for building awareness and a nice story with warm appeal."
Timmy What's Wrong with Timmy?
by Maria Shriver, Sandra Speidel. Little, Brown, 2001.
Reading level: ages 5 - 9 years. This book tells the story of Kate, an eight year-old who notices that a new boy, Timmy, is different. While the book doesn't mention Down syndrome, Timmy is described as being slow and having a flat face. Kate befriends Timmy, but the story doesn't end there. Instead, the last part of the book deals with Kate's questions as to why God makes life so hard for some people, how Timmy's parents feel about having a child like Timmy, and how it feels to be laughed at.
I Can, Can You? I Can, Can You?
by Marjorie W. Pitzer. Woodbine House; Boardbook edition, 2004.
Reading level: Baby-Preschool. A board book with color photos of children and variations on "I canů. Can you?" The youngsters are all actively engaged: feeding themselves, playing with blocks, swimming, etc. They are clearly happy and reveling in their newfound abilities. Only the back cover mentions that all of the babies and toddlers in the photos have Down syndrome.
My Friend Isabelle
by Eliza Woloson. Woodbine House, 2003.
Reading level: Preschool - Grade 1. "Isabelle and Charlie are friends. They are the same age, but like most friends, they are different: Charlie is tall and knows "a lot of words," and Isabelle is short and sometimes her words are, "hard to understand." The sweet simplicity of their relationship is a reminder to everyone that "differences are what make the world so great." Young readers will love the bold illustrations and simple text, and parents will appreciate the message and the sensitivity with which it is delivered. At the end of the story readers meet the real Isabelle, and author Eliza Woloson briefly notes how Down syndrome makes her daughter and other children special."
Everything You Need to Know Everything You Need to Know About Down Syndrome
by Mary Bowman-Kruhm. Library Binding, 1999
Reading level: ages 9 - 11 years. Examines causes of Down syndrome, new developments in medical treatment, and changes in attitudes toward people who have this condition.
Night Riders Night Riders
by Mark Roberts, 2001
"Is it wrong to commit armed robbery in order to save the life of an endangered dolphin? Welcome to the world of William and Stanley, teenagers with attitude -- and Down's Syndrome. When the shattering news arrives from Florida that Amadeus, the performing dolphin, is to be taken away for scientific research, William and Stanley set about a scheme to raise money to go on a mercy mission to the U.S.A. When all their lawful schemes fail, they hatch a daring plan...."
(Only available from the publisher Andersen Press.)

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