From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 2A young boy who has Down syndrome goes through a typical school day while eagerly anticipating a visit from a ventriloquist and his puppet. Dustin is excited because the performer is a family friend and he will be the schools host. The second grader rides the school bus and plays with his friends. He participates in language arts, music, recess, library, and science with his homeroom group, then works individually with a speech therapist and an occupational therapist. Then, While the rest of the class did math, Dustin went to see Mrs. Fadrowski, who helped special kids with their reading and arithmetic. The text comes to an abrupt end following the puppet show. Carter demonstrates how Dustin is like other children instead of how he is different. That approach has merit; however, readers naturally will be curious about Dustins appearance and will want to know what his condition is called (it is never mentioned). As in Big Brother Dustin (Albert Whitman, 1997), the story is illustrated with vibrant color photographs. Few children will be drawn to the book as recreational reading, but the story is valuable for its depiction of a great kid who has special needs but is integrated completely into the life of his school.Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christophers School, Richmond, VA
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Second-grader Dustin is anticipating an exciting day at school because eagerly awaited guests are coming at two o'clock. But until their arrival, Dustin must get through most of the school day, which in his case, because of his specific learning needs, means not only music, language arts, recess, lunch, library time, and science but also speech and occupational therapies and special reading and math classes. Vibrant full-color photos follow Dustin through his day, showing the activities, the interactions with friends, and the learning experiences enjoyed by this active child. Finally, two o'clock arrives, along with Dave the ventriloquist and his wooden pal, Skippy, who delight their school audience. Using the entertainers' visit as the excuse to tag along with Dustin, the photographers energetically document the school day that is a vital aspect of the youngster's life. The photos, together with the well-written text, reveal the inviting environment integrated schools can offer special needs students. Ellen Mandel