31 for 21: Talking to Children About Down Syndrome, Diversity, and Tolerance


Following is a short list of my favorite children’s books that discuss Down syndrome, diversity, and tolerance:

Hi, I’m Ben … And I’ve Got a Secret!  A short, simple book aimed at young children.  Told in first person by Ben, this little boy introduces himself and talks about all the things he can do, while inviting the reader to guess his secret.

We’ll Paint the Octopus Red  Emma has a new baby brother, and her parents explain to her that he has Down syndrome.  What does this mean for Emma?  A sweet story for young siblings.

The Worst Best Brother  This is a follow-up to We’ll Paint the Octopus Red.  How does Isaac having Down syndrome fit into Emma’s world now that they’re both a little older?

Ruby in Her Own Time  A sweet story late bloomer Ruby, the duckling who does everything late, but in the end shows everyone how magnificent she is anyway.

The Junkyard Wonders  A classroom of misfits discover their value and their own inner genius.

Also, Deedah is a wonderful short documentary for children and adults alike.  In it, seven-year old Charlotte, is interviewed by her mom about her younger brother Jonathan, who has Down syndrome.  A fabulous little movie.

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