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As soon as I saw the trailer for the upcoming movie Wonder, I knew I needed to order the book by R.J. Palacio for myself! And since the age range of the book is 8 and up, I knew Leah be able to read it as well. Being the sibling of such an extraordinary brother, I knew this would be a book she would enjoy as well.
It was yet another book I couldn’t put down! I finished reading Wonder in 3 days, not too hard seeing that it’s geared for children 8 and over.
I felt like I was right in the middle of Auggie’s life! Not only reading from his point of view but also from his loved ones as well. Especially his parents. Being the parent of special needs child, there were parts I could totally relate to. Even though August doesn’t have a developmental/ cognitive delay, he still gets the looks, stares and rude comments from people who don’t know Auggie and his family.
I highly recommend Wonder to any adult or child who can read at a 5th grade reading level. Now that I’m done reading it, I’ve passed it onto Leah who is just like her mommy and can’t put the book down either!
Sadly, we have to wait till November for the movie to come out in the theaters, until then, I have time to read the other small handful of books featuring Auggie and his family & friends! I’ve included the movie trailer below if you haven’t seen it yet. Just think, Owen Wilson AND Julia Roberts, it doesn’t get much better than that!
Looking back at my own childhood, I would have to say that my absolute favorite book was probably Chicken Soup With Rice by Maurice Sendak.
One of my earliest memories is of my mom singing/reading the book to me. She actually used to use the book she had as a child in the 1960’s. It’s one of my fondest memories looking back at my mom sitting on the side of my bed singing it to me before bed.
Years later, when I was pregnant with Joey, I went to the book store and bought my own copy of the book. My mom still had her paperback copy from when she was a child but I wanted my own hardback copy as well, I knew a hardback would withstand the use of my children. I also had a hard time remembering the exact harmony and rhythm of the song my mom sang so after a little Google research, I discovered Carol King actually sang the song as well and that was were my mom learned it from! And crazy enough, I actually found a copy of the LP record album available for sale on Amazon and a YouTube video of the song which I posted below.
In the book King describes each month with rhymes and various funny activities the boy in the book did. Heck, I probably owe this book (and my mom) a lot of credit for learning the months before I entered kindergarten, hahaha! What makes it the best is the fact that I carried on a simple family tradition of singing/reading this book to my children just like my mom did with me as a child. I know Maurice Sendak is known more for Where the Wild Things Are but this book will always be my favorite.
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Over the past 10 years, I’ve read so many books trying to teach other children about Down syndrome and I do have to say, “My Friend Isabelle” by Eliza Woloson is still probably my favorite to explain to friends at school and “We’ll Paint the Octopus Red” by Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen is my favorite for siblings and cousins. Not saying others aren’t as good or helpful, they’re just my two favorites.
Also for any teachers out there or parents who are looking to buy this for their child’s school, “My Friend Isabelle“is also offered as a teacher’s package that offers classroom activities to go along with the book.
Then there’s a few others including: