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Posted July 22, 2008
Best Friend on Wheels
¿Best Friend on Wheels¿ by Debra Shirley is a charming picture book showing a close relationship between two girls, one of whom is in a wheelchair. The book goes on to detail all of the activities they share together, depicting a relationship no different than that of most second grade girls. They share pizza, secrets, sleepovers, and a special bond. The author doesn¿t completely ignore the fact of Sarah¿s disability. For example, during their sleepover, the other girl offers to help get Sarah¿s wheelchair in the bed. Sarah responds: ¿Silly, that¿s not how I do it! I slide off my chair into bed¿nothing to it!¿ and confidently shows her new friend how independent she is. This is a wonderful book to teach young children about disability and how people who may seem very different are more similar than they thought. While the rhymes are a stretch at some points, the core meaning paired with Judy Stead¿s vibrant, joyful illustrations combine to deliver a book that leaves you with a smile.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 6, 2008
There are two reasons why I think readers of any age will enjoy this book and will want to recommend that their friends read it: Its irresistible narrator. Its superior writing and illustrations. What's so irresistible about the narrator? Well, let me tell you. Lots! * Her helpful innocence when she tells her friend Sarah, 'I'd be happy to help get your wheelchair in bed.' * Her candid awareness when she states, 'I wanted to get a good look at her chair, but I felt like a jerk, so I tried not to stare.' * Her delight at discovering Sarah, too, loves dancing. 'Dancing--yes, dancing! She love the ballet. She spins on her wheels and twirls every which way.' * Most irresistible of all is her sweet intelligence. 'Now Sarah and I, we're twin sisters at heart. Except for one HUGE thing that sets us apart.' 'It's NOT her wheelchair. Please read the book to find out.' Author Debra Shirley's prose shines poetic, her writing skill reflected in expertly crafted rhyme that doesn't resort to ho-hum singsongy-ness. And illustrator Judy Stead captures the narrator's youthful exuberance and humor while providing the reader with a clear sense of action and changing moods. I'd like to praise the editors at Albert Whitman & Company for pairing up these two gifted professionals.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.