In this lovingly produced book, Rebecca DalMolin aptly demonstrates that children with Down syndrome, like her daughter Adella, are just like the rest of us in so many ways.
“My name is Adella and I have Down syndrome,” the story begins. Adella then uses the idea of building a snowman to explain what Down syndrome means. A snowman, she notes, is made of tiny snowflakes that stick together and can be formed into bigger shapes. People are composed of even tinier particles called cells that are shaped into various body parts. These parts, like brain and muscle, are told what to do by their even tinier chromosomes. Because some of Adella’s cells have an extra chromosome, it’s hard “for some of my cells to know exactly what their job is and how to do it.”
Yet, “just like you,” Adella says, she loves to talk, although sometimes it’s hard to understand her. She loves to run, although she might run slower than others. And she’s really good at singing, making people smile, riding horses and more. She wants to grow up to do amazing things, as others with Down syndrome have done. “Maybe I’ll be an actress, like Lauren Potter,” she says of the Glee star.
The book is illustrated with a clever montage of text, bright photos and emotive drawings. For example, we see Adella dressed as a cheerleader, like Potter, in the middle of a drawing of the set of Glee. Or balancing on the back of a horse in her pink tutu and feathered headband.
DalMolin provides teachable moments on every page. The book’s latter portion lauds the accomplishments of eight Down syndrome superstars, such as Potter. It then offers advice to readers who are “Assisting Children in Understanding Down Syndrome,” garnered from DalMolin’s personal experience.
For those seeking to educate children about Down syndrome, this is a valuable resource. The charming and irresistible illustrations alone are worth the price of admission.