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Comment: This is a ex library book, stickers and markings accordingly.
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My Friend Isabelle Hardcover – October 1, 2003

4.7 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

My Friend Isabelle is a wonderful little book that teaches about difference and acceptance with simplicity and grace. 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. --Daphne Durham

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 1-Isabelle has Down syndrome, but that doesn't matter to her friend Charlie. "I am tall. Isabelle is short. I run f a s t. Isabelle takes her time." He describes all the things they do, how sometimes they're the same and sometimes different. "Mommy says," Charlie explains, "that differences are what make the world so great," and each page follows this theme of inclusion and acceptance. Watercolors in greens, purples, blues, and oranges move the story along, sometimes with full-page pictures and sometimes with small drawings. Both children have round faces and simple lines for eyes, and some readers may not even realize (without the postscript) what it is that makes Isabelle different from Charlie. "Life is more fun with friends like Isabelle," Charlie says, and readers will agree.
Linda Beck, Indian Valley Public Library, Telford, PA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 28 pages
  • Publisher: Woodbine House; 1st edition (October 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 189062750X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1890627508
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 8.5 x 5.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #263,833 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Lawrance Bernabo HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on August 27, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Charlie and Isabelle are the same age but they have some differences. For example, Charlie is tall and Isabelle is short, and whereas Charlie runs fast, Isabelle likes to take her time. The last difference that Charlie explains is when he tells us: "I know a lot of words. Isabelle's words are sometimes hard for me to understand." In the text of "My Friend Isabelle," author Eliza Woloson never comes out and says that Isabelle has Down syndrome and I was thinking that any indication of her condition in Bryan Gough's illustrations might well be too subtle for young children to pick up. But then it occurred to me that if a parent was reading this book to young children, or let them read it on their own, and then there was probably already a child with Down syndrome in the family or in the neighborhood.

This works either way in terms of teaching the lesson that is at the heart of "My Friend Isabelle." Either the child will recognize that Isabelle has Down syndrome and figure out what is really going on in the story, or the child's curiosity will compel them to ask their parent to explain why Charlie has trouble understanding Isabelle. Once Charlie gets to the key difference between himself and his friend, Charlie recalls the words of his Mommy, that "differences are what makes the world so great." Having advanced the idea that differences are a good thing, the rest of the book focuses on the many things that Charlie and Isabelle have in common when they play together each Friday. They both like to twirl, to drink apple juice, and to go down the big slide at the park. At the end, the words of Charlie's mother provide the stories benediction.

The explicit goal of "My Friend Isabelle" is to have young children do their small part to make the world a more tolerant place.
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I can't praise this book enough. The illustrations and straightforward story line appeal to children while the message is one all aldults need to see. As the mother of a Down Syndrome child, I was overjoyed at how clearly the message came through that Down Syndrome kids are kids first. They enjoy all the usual childhood activities and enjoy friendships with thier non-Downs peers as well. I plan on purchasing this book for our local public library and our elementary school library as well.
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Format: Hardcover
THIS BOOK OPENS WONDERFUL CONVERSATION WITH CHILDREN. IT HELPS SEE DIFFERENCES FROM A CHILD'S POINT OF VIEW. PERFECT FOR THE KINDERGARTEN AGE CHILD.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderful book about diversity in the world, which is truly what makes this planet great. This childrens' book has beautiful illustrations and has a story line kids can learn about the differneces in other kids they encounter in day to day life. To celebrate diversity, not ignore or make it a negative issue. This book brings tears to your eyes.
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Format: Hardcover
"My Friend Isabelle" is a book that ALL parents should have on their bookshelf. It celebrates the relationship between two children who are different from one another. It is an important book because today's classrooms are becoming more and more diverse. This book is a great tool to introduce these differences. I have been waiting for a book like "My Friend Isabelle". Thank you Ms. Woloson for being so insightful.
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We love this book! As the mother of a baby diagnosed at birth with down syndrome I was looking for a way to give a very basic explanation of down syndrome to our older children. When my son was born I had a 3 y/o daughter and a 6 y/o son and this was the perfect book for my 3 y/o. Not so many details as to overwhelm/confuse her, but enough to explain that her baby brother was going to be a little different and that was okay! The book is written from the point of view of a little boy named Charlie. Example text- "Even though we are the same age, we are different. I am tall and Isabelle is short. I run fast, Isabelle takes her time. We go down the big slide at the park, we both like to do it ourselves." It is great that it talks about not only their differences but also the similarities. I love that it never mentions anything about the fact that Isabelle has down syndrome until you get to a short paragraph at the very end of the book that talks about the real Isabelle. While it was a little too simple for my older son (We'll Paint the Octopus Red was a better one for him) it is definitely a keeper!
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My daughter-in-law, who has two "home grown" and two children with Down Syndrome who were adopted by her and my son, read this book to two elementary school classes. She wanted to teach the children about special needs children and accepting everyone.
She found it very helpful, realistic, and well illustrated. I bought a copy for my other son and daughter-in-law who have four children. I want to help my grandchildren understand their cousins as well as any friends they meet with special needs. This book shows that we are all differently abled, in that Isabelle could still do the same things her friend did, but sometimes it took her longer, or she had to work harder at it. She had the same emotions and loved the same things. I would recommend this book for all parents and teachers.
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