Bravo to Heather J. Scharlau-Hollis for her adorable children’s picture book to increase the awareness of children about Down syndrome. In Meet Annie the mom-author tells her young readers about Annie who is just like them. All children will love her 24 page story learning about all the things Annie enjoys, from her family, to her toys and mac and cheese. Children will see how Annie loves to count to 10 and how she can get dressed all except for her zipper. They will be able to relate to Annie because she is just like them.
Then we are told Annie has Down syndrome and sometimes she gets mad because she looks a little different than others and she learns things a little different than them too. On most pages the author has questions that make her young audience realize that they have the same feelings, likes and dislikes, joys and difficulties as Annie. These questions are great for a caregiver or a teacher to have discussions with their children/students about important topics not only in Annie’s life but in theirs also. These well thought out questions are a great way to engage her readers; here are some of them:
- Do you ever get messed up?
- Do you ever need help?
- Do you ever get mad?
- Do you ever get in trouble?
- Do you every get scared?
Teachers, parents, and other caregivers should read and reread this book often with their child/students so they can discuss the message that, “We need to understand that we are all different and those differences make us who we are.” Also allow time to discuss the great questions Heather has carefully sneaked in on most pages.
Afterwards, a beginner reader will be able to read the story independently because his comprehension will be helped along by the realistic illustrations that support the text. Geneveive Stotler’s large, colorful illustration on the cover is like all her others throughout the book. Well done, Ms. Stotler!
Jennifer L. Fisher did a great job designing the cover and the interior. The text, in a kid friendly font, is comfortable to read, not crowded and the questions in a different colored font and in a wavy pattern give an added touch! The use of colored pages and framed text boxes here and there keeps the attention of young readers.
Congratulations to the team of people who worked on Meet Annie! Hope we have a sequel soon…
About the Author
Heather J. Scharlau-Hollis lives in Wisconsin with her husband and three children. She has worked with children since she was eighteen and now spends time codirecting the youth choir at her church. Heather is also an advocate for kids with special needs.
Audio Book Download Included with This Book!
The last page informs the reader that the paper version of the book includes a free download of the audio version of Meet Annie. You simply use the code listed on the page when visiting the publisher’s website and download to your computer, burn it to an audio CD or save the file to your portable music device (such as Apple’s iPod).
Visite the Meet Annie Facebook page
This book is also available for purchase as an eBook download.
Taken from the Tate Publishing site, “Welcome to the world of eBooks where instead of receiving a physical paper book in the mail, you will receive access to the eBook file for this complete book. Within minutes you can be reading this book on your computer, PDA, cellphone or a stand-alone eBook reader—at a reduced cost! Unless otherwise noted, all eBooks are in the PDF format which is compatible with most eBook readers including Sony Reader, Nook, Kindle 2, iPad, and iPhone 4.”