Looking after Louis

( 1 )


A young girl sits next to a boy named Louis at school. Louis has autism, but through imagination, kindness, and a special game of soccer, his classmates find a way to join him in his world. Then they can include Louis in theirs.

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A young girl sits next to a boy named Louis at school. Louis has autism, but through imagination, kindness, and a special game of soccer, his classmates find a way to join him in his world. Then they can include Louis in theirs.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 1-4-This upbeat look at mainstreaming is told from the point of view of a little girl who sits next to an autistic boy. Louis, who repeats words he hears and has little interaction with his peers, gets away with behavior that the other children cannot, such as mimicking the teacher. One day, after he shows interest in playing soccer with a classmate, Miss Owlie allows both of them to go outside and play during the afternoon, prompting the narrator to point out the unfairness of this treatment. With her teacher's help, the child comes to realize that sometimes it's OK to "break rules for special people." Though the story depicts a fairly innocuous display of autism, which may mislead some readers about the disorder, the main focus is on the development of sensitivity in the other students. Dunbar's childlike paintings cleverly show how Louis is essentially the same as the other kids-he could be any one of the boys in the class, until the artwork focuses more closely on him. An afterword by a child clinical psychologist offers adults more information about autism and mainstreaming.-Kathleen Kelly MacMillan, Maryland School for the Deaf, Columbia Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Written by a clinical psychologist, this (fictional) view of an autistic child finding his place in a mainstream classroom bears a clear but not ponderous agenda. Louis tends to stare at the wall, parrot the last phrase he hears, draw inscrutable pictures, and sail right through playground soccer games-to all of which his classmates react with a mix of giggles, mild annoyance, and curiosity that, after calm conversations with their teacher, warm to acceptance. Dunbar illustrates this lesson in tolerance with sketchy scenes rendered in a childlike, cartoon style; in his bright red pullover, Louis is an easily spotted figure among the other, actively posed children, and like the montages of his jumbled but not entirely abstract paintings that open and close the episode, comes across as different but not, ultimately, beyond comprehension. (afterword) (Picture book. 7-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807547465
  • Publisher: Whitman, Albert & Company
  • Publication date: 1/1/2004
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 253,453
  • Age range: 7 - 10 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.54 (w) x 10.86 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 1 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2004


    Would that all youngsters would be as patient and understanding with those who are 'different' as are the children in this touching and informative story about an autistic boy. When Louis who has autism goes to a new school his classmates try very hard to understand him. They want to include him in their activities but they don't know how. One girl offers him crayons, and suggests he draw. Recess is a bit of a challenge for all as Louis runs in and out of the boys' soccer game disrupting play. He also has a tendency to speak out at the wrong times, but the teachers are very patient with him. One day Sam was displaying what he could do with his new soccer ball when Louis began to chase him. The other children shouted encouragement when Louis even came close to the ball, which brought a smile to Louis's face. Pretty soon Louis was drawing picture of playing ball, and the children knew that they had reached him, made him a part of their school day. A valuable lesson for all young readers regarding the importance of inclusiveness is found in 'Looking After Louis.'

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