Thursday, November 12, 2009
My Sister, Alicia May
Tupper Ling, Nancy. 2009. My sister, Alicia May. Ill. by Shennen Bersani. Raynham Center, MA: Pleasant St. Press.
My Sister, Alicia May is a beautifully realistic story of a young girl whose sister has Down Syndrome. Sharing both the good,
"She watches ladybugs warm themselves on our red door. Then she counts their dots: 'One lady dot, two lady dot, three lady dot,...' I think God is glad someone notices these things,"
and the bad,
"I slouched down in my seat... 'Katie,' I whispered, 'pretend we don't know her.' So we did,"
Alicia May's sister recounts life with her sister with touching honesty.
The illustrations by Shennen Bersani have an almost photographic quality, realistically portraying the familiar features of a Down Syndrome child, as well as the typical gap-toothed smile of a young schoolgirl, still waiting for all of her permanent teeth. The touching illustrations are a perfect match for the text. Bersani dedicates the book to her own sister, who has Down Syndrome.
In the end, Alicia May's sister, Rae-Rae, is just as special as Alicia May. A simply beautiful book that will do more to instill a compassion for those with disabilities than any lesson ever will.