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Susan Laughs

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3.88  ·  Rating Details  ·  133 Ratings  ·  52 Reviews
Susan laughs, she sings, she flies, she swings. She's good, she's bad, she's happy and she's sad. In fact, Susan is just like everybody else, even though she is in a wheelchair.
Paperback, 32 pages
Published February 3rd 2011 by Andersen (first published 1999)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 262)
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Jonathan Fowle
Susan is the same as any other child, she laughs, sings, swings on trees, has same emotions and feelings as anyone else, gets into trouble and plays sport. At the end of the book, the readers find out that Susan is in a wheelchair, but she can still do the same things as anyone else.

The book explores what Susan can do, not what she cannot do and the book really emphasises the message that disabled children are just the same as anyone else. The book can be used to encourage and motivate disabl
...more
Alice Reedy
Sep 20, 2015 Alice Reedy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Susan Laughs is a book that is simply written and easily read; but with a powerful and important message at the end that resonates with children and adults alike. The story follows Susan, a young girl who participates in activities and feelings that are familiar to all children. She sings, swims and paints. She feels happy, sad and scared. Susan is an ordinary, relatable character for young readers; as the last page reiterates, Susan is ‘just like me, just like you.’ This last line is accompanie ...more
Sian
Mar 19, 2014 Sian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is written simply, with only a few words on each page, relying heavily on the illustrations to build up the character of Susan, a little girl who does all the normal childhood things. Susan laughs, sings, cries, paints, grins....and it only becomes apparent on the final page of the book that Susan is in a wheelchair. The book concludes with the words,'That is Susan through and through - just like me, just like you'.The use of rhyme within this book is great and would be great to use wi ...more
Bridie Atkinson
Jan 25, 2014 Bridie Atkinson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Susan laughs, she sings, she flies, she swings. She's good, she's bad, she's happy and she's sad. In fact, Susan is just like everybody else, even though she is in a wheelchair. This story is simple, but the meaning behind it is not just for children, it is for all of us. It would be a great book to open up discussion on disability as well as focusing on inclusion and a great way to hear children’s imputs. It provides discussion on what can be a difficult subject, helping to teach understanding ...more
Livash Ramduth
Jun 22, 2013 Livash Ramduth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Susan Laughs is a short story told in rhyme. The story describes a range of common emotions and activities experienced by a little girl, Susan. She swims with her father, works hard in school, plays with her friends, rides a horse. It is not until the end of the story that we discover that Susan is a wheelchair user. When looking back through the book, we notice that Susan is never unassisted but we do not realise any of this until it is bought to our attention in the final illustration. The sto ...more
Charlene
Dec 29, 2012 Charlene rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Susan Laughs by Jeanne Willis and Illustrated by Tony Ross

This book is a short rhyming story that describes the emotions and activities that a little girl called Susan experiences. She laughs, she sings, she’s good, she’s bad and many more things, but at the end of the story we find out that she is in a wheelchair.

I like this book because it focuses on Susan’s abilities rather than on the things she can not do. It teaches children that even though someone may have a disability they can still do
...more
Kelsey Nelson
Jan 26, 2014 Kelsey Nelson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In my opinion, I really enjoyed the book. This book about a young girl in a wheelchair used simple rhyming words and pictures depicting that this girl could do the same activities of people that are not disabled. The book does not reveal to the reader that the girl is in a wheelchair until the end of the book making it easier for a child reader to focus on Susan's actions instead of only the fact that Susan is in a wheelchair. This show's the child reader that even people with are the same as p ...more
Naomi
Feb 12, 2013 Naomi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This is an excellent book to raise awareness of disability, to promote inclusion and also challenge stereotypes. It is a short story told in rhyme. The story describes a range of common emotions and activities experienced by a little girl, Susan. She is never unassisted in any of these activities, however it is only on the last page that it is revealed that Susan is in a wheelchair.

This book can be read together to the class, used as a discussion point to raise any issues of feelings that the pu
...more
Aoife
Oct 05, 2013 Aoife rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Susan laughs, she sings, she flies, she swings. She's good, she's bad, she's happy and she's sad. In fact, Susan is just like everybody else, even though she is in a wheelchair. This story is simple, but the meaning behind it is not just for children, it is for all of us. It would be a great book to open up discussion on disability as well as focusing on inclusion and a great way to hear children’s imputs. It provides discussion on what can be a difficult subject, helping to teach understanding ...more
Lisa Vegan
May 15, 2011 Lisa Vegan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: as a springboard for discussion about disabilities and about differences & similarities
Recommended to Lisa by: Chandra
The whole book is a message, but it’s a good reminder for kids and adults alike. The rhyming simple story is engaging, and the pictures are fun. I did appreciate the huge variety of things Susan did during the book, making her authentically real with whom kids can definitely identify. Because the point of the book is to show that despite being in a wheelchair Susan is like everybody else, I’d think this would be good to read when discussing disabilities and differences (and similarities) but not ...more
Susan Rowe
Multicultural book

Willis, Jeanne. Susan Laughs. London: Andersen Books, 1999. Print.

Summary: This 2000 rhyming picture book is about a girl who has a physical disability but is shown to do anything a typical child can do. She has the same kind of fun, gets in the same kind of mischief, and has the same emotions. The reader sees her riding on her dad’s back, scaring her grandpa, hiding from her pet, taking a bath. She is not shown to be in a wheelchair until the very last page and this is what ma
...more
Alyssa
Oct 29, 2015 Alyssa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In the children's book, "Susan Laughs," Jeanne Willis writes about a little girl named Susan who does activities such as playing with her friends, her swims and goes through emotions. The story is rhymes and the illustrations follow the story, portraying the words into pictures. The illustrations are colorful, big and show the reader a visual representation of the book. After the book is done showing Susan doing all of her activities the Willis writes, "That is sun through and through-just like ...more
Mr. George
Oct 21, 2014 Mr. George rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This must have snuck by my new list of books years ago until I took a second look...what a great ending...and it makes you read it a few times...and you have that great Matrix/The Usual Suspects moment of "oh...genius"

SPOILER ALERT>.........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
...more
Asmaa
Susan laughs is a well illustrated, rhyming short story. It tells the reader how Susan is the same as everyone else, she laughs, she sings, she cries and she hugs. What is not apparent until the end is that Susan is in a wheelchair but this does not stop her from going on swings, dancing and other things that every child does. This book is great to introduce different areas of need and a way of addressing misconceptions that people/children who are mobility impaired are no different from anyone ...more
Traci Bold
Oct 29, 2015 Traci Bold rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Susan is a little different than the rest of the kids but you would never know it unless you saw the evidence for yourself.

Susan does the same things many kids do and she has similar emotions. Can you tell why she is a little different?

Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross give no clues as to why Susan is different as it should be. She cannot be judged by her difference because it is not readily shown, as it should be.

'Susan Laughs' is a poignant picture book that focuses on the positive not the negati
...more
Meltha
This book has very cheerful, colorful pencil sketches throughout of the title character, Susan, going through a whole series of rhyming activities, showing her happy and sad, behaving herself and getting yelled out for scaring her grandmother or teasing the cat, getting her addition right or wrong, playing, etc. It is not revealed until the final drawing that Susan uses a wheelchair. In a way, this seemed a little deceptive. I understand that the text wanted to focus on the concept that the chil ...more
Nicolewinter2011
Illustrator: Tony Ross
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Year: 1999
Interest Level: Pre-K -- Grade 1
Reading level: K-1

Basic text about a girl and all that she likes to do. Two words "sentences." "Susan ______." She swims, hides, grins, etc. Descriptors are also given as being right, wrong, strong, week, etc. At the very end, the reader discovers Susan has a wheelchair.

I think this is a great book for children in pre-school or kindergarten, but I probably wouldn't go much higher than that. The text
...more
Maria Katrina
Sep 16, 2013 Maria Katrina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This short book is about a young girl called Susan who is like any other child. She laughs, she sings, she's bad, she's good.It is only at the end when it is revealed that she is in fact in a wheelchair.

My favorite part of the book is when the author summarizes the important essence of the story and what it is really aiming to teach readers:
"This is Susan through and through - just like me, just like you."

At the very end Susan is seen sitting happily in her chair, happy with the way she is. Thi
...more
Laina Shearouse
"Susan Laughs" is a simple rhyming story by Jeanne Willis. The author takes the reader through all of the things that Susan does. She laughs, cries, swims, sings and many other things. In the end it is revealed that Susan is in a wheelchair. the obvious point that the author is conveying is that it does not matter that Susan is in a wheelchair she can still do what everyone else can.
I think as a teacher this book would have many uses for grades k-1.With its simple text it would make a excellent
...more
Aoife
Oct 16, 2013 Aoife rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful story that shows Susan is just like you and me and lives life to the full, even though she is in a wheelchair. This is an endearing book which expresses a message of equality in a simple and effective way. As I have chosen SEN as my specialism and have done some observing in a SEN school, this has got to be one of the most beautiful books I have ever had the pleasure of sharing with children of all abilities and ages. The book is written so that young readers can read it to themselve ...more
Tayari Walker
Susan Laughs is about a little girl who is physically disabled. The book describes how Susan does the same things that any other kids do and is no different. This book is great for diversity inclusion because it helps the students realize that students who have disabilities are no different than them so they should treat those students the way they themselves would want to be treated.
Den
Feb 26, 2015 Den rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children, 2015
What a great book which shows how many activities a young girl enjoys - illustrations are lovely and they show a wonderfully happy-go lucky girl ... and then on the last page you find out she is disabled and needs a wheelchair to get around but that hasn't stopped her doing anything she wanted to. A good role model to others.

Roshunda Harris
Through rhyming, Susan does all the things that children do. Susan is happy. Susan is sad. She rides ponies, she get's scared in bed, she plays on the playground, and she even plays tricks on Grandma. She is just like me, she is just like you but in the end of the story we find out that Susan is disabled. This book teaches students that though someone may be disabled they can still have fun and enjoy life. It teaches our disabled students to try to enjoy life despite the fact that they are disab ...more
Philip Henry
Nov 12, 2015 Philip Henry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love the fact that it is not revealed that Susan uses a wheelchair until the end of the story. This asset model of thinking is not a consistent theme in children/YA literature. It is a "people first" approach that is invaluable.
Amelia
A way of showing a child that disabled children are just the same as them. Susan Laughs focuses on the things Susan can do, not those she can't, which is great.
Julie
Jan 29, 2015 Julie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Deceptively simple Picture Book text with glowing illustrations. The twist at the end gives the story a depth you probably were not expecting. A lovely book.
Kelly
Originally published in the U.K. in 1999 by Andersen Press Ltd. (before being published in the U.S. in 2000 by Henry Holt and Company, LLC).
Stacey B.
Jun 02, 2016 Stacey B. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
read for my diverse children's literature class
Kitty
Jan 03, 2015 Kitty rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: inclusive-books
Excellent example of a well written and beautifully illustrated book featuring diversity and inclusion.

Read this to a little audience and the children loved the rhyme and bright pictures. They were surprised to find out that Susan is in a wheelchair. What was priceless is their reactions to the last page:

That is Susan
through and through
just like me. Just like you

to which they chorused: "That's right, she is! I wish Susan was in our class, she's fun!"

- Beautiful.
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Jeanne Willis was born in St Albans and trained as an advertising copywriter at Watford College. She worked for various agencies creating press adverts and TV, cinema and radio commercials. She is now a full-time writer and has published over 80 books. Her hobbies include gardening, reading (non-fiction), natural history and collecting caterpillars. Jeanne has also worked on scripts for TV, includ ...more
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