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We'll Paint the Octopus Red
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We'll Paint the Octopus Red

4.3 of 5 stars 4.30  ·  rating details  ·  103 ratings  ·  43 reviews
As six-year-old Emma anticipates the birth of her new baby brother or sister, she imagines all of the things they can do together. They'll go to Grandpa's farm to feed the calves, ride in the back of the mini-van making faces at the cars that go by, fly on airplanes, and someday, they'll even go to Africa on a safari.
Hardcover, 28 pages
Published January 1st 1998 by Woodbine House
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May 20, 2012 Gundula rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: families who have a child with Down Syndrome, children interested in learning about Down Syndrome
Emma is not too thrilled that she will soon be getting a little brother/sister; she has been an only child for almost six years and likes it that way. But when her father describes how much fun being a big sister will be, Emma slowly warms to the idea and thinks of all kinds of activities she might do with her new brother or sister. When baby Isaac is born with Down Syndrome, Emma is worried that her little brother will never be able to do any of the things she had planned to do with him. Her fa ...more
May 31, 2011 Dolly rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a terrific story that helps parents talk to their children about Down Syndrome. The story shows quite plainly that children with Down Syndrome can do so many things that others can do and that we should love them and accept them for who they are. The additional information in the back helps explain what the Syndrome is, how it is caused, and answers frequently asked questions about it. I love that the sweet perspective of the big sister helps her father and together they make plans for t ...more

This is the story of a little girl who is nervous about having a new baby brother or sister. But, when she starts to imagine all the things they can do together, she becomes excited about the arrival. When her father comes home from the hospital and explains that the baby has Down syndrome, the girl begins to worry that all her plans of things to do with the baby will never come to pass. But, her father explains that, with a little help and patience, they will still be able to do everyt
Jan 14, 2011 Candice rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: educate young children about Down Syndroms
Shelves: picture-books
This is an excellent book about welcoming a new baby with Down Syndrome into the family. Emma is excited to learn she has a new brother and tells her dad all the things she wants to do with the baby. The next day her Dad is very upset and when she asks why he tells her that baby Isaac has Down Syndrome. She questions whether he will still be able to play kickball or paint or feed the animals at the farm and each question answered positively. Her father explains that Isaac will be able to do all ...more
Katy Vance
I think this book is a wonderful text, both in terms of introducing children and families to the basics of Down Syndrome as well as, separate from it's content, an excellent picture book. The pictures are brightly colored, centered on the page, and aid student understanding of the characters and plot progression. In particular, the illustrations do a nice job of subtly representing the differences in facial characteristics of children with Down Syndrome. As the story points out, children with Do ...more
Lisa Vegan
First, I need to say that I knew a bit about this book from reading friends’ reviews and comments on reviews and in the Children's Books group; this book is one of the selections at its Picture Books Club for June’s theme of people who have physical disabilities.

I thought the book would really annoy me because 1. it looked as though it was a book simply about a new sibling, until well into the book when it’s revealed the new baby has Down Syndrome, and therefore might not be the best new baby bo
Mary Beth
a. This is a great book! It is about a young girl named Emma who is about to get a new brother. She is so excited about the things they will get to do together like playing kickball and making funny faces at people when they ride in the car. Then, Emma's dad tells her that her new brother Isaac is born with Down syndrome. Emma is scared that she won't be able to do the things she wants to do with Isaac, but her father tells her it just may take Isaac longer to be able to do all of those things. ...more
Jenn Stephenson
This book is about a young girl named Emma. She finds out that she is going to be a big sister to a little brother named Isaac. Isaac has Down's syndrome and Emma really doesnt like the idea at first on being a big sister. But as the story progresses she learns that as long as she helps out with teaching him how to do things like a anverage older sibling would then they will be able to do everything she has planned for them. This book gives a very good overview of what Down's syndrome really is ...more
A charming & graceful reminder to focus on what a person *can* do, rather than on their challenges or limitations. Note that my library shelved it in non-fiction (618.92), even though it is fiction, so if you want to read it check the catalog 1st for availability.
Julia Jasztal
Mommy's review from 10/13/11 -

Believe it or not but when I happened to see this in the library (someone else had left it lying on a table) I was so oblivious I had no idea what it was about. I assumed it was the usual cutesy picture book about a brother and a sister. And it is... but it's more than that too.
I was actually a little shocked when I opened the book and started reading. I even hesitated more than twice in starting to read. Not that I keep anything from Julia but it happens that she'
Katie Plumley
This narrative story chronicles a young elementary age girl who is excited about the upcoming birth of her baby brother. She lists all of the things she and her new brother will do together, i.e. eat ice cream, stamp pictures of animals including an octopus, play on the swingset, etc. When her father comes home with red, teary eyes, she finds out that her brother has Down Syndrome. Through her questioning, she and her father both discover that she and her brother will still be able to do all of ...more
Thomas Paul
Six year old Emma isn't very happy about the idea of having a new brother or sister but when Emma and her dad start thinking of all the things that they can do with the new baby, Emma becomes excited at the prospect of being a big sister. When her dad comes home and tells Emma that her new brother, Isaac, has Down syndrome, Emma worries that he won't be able to do any of the fun things that she has imagined. As Emma and her dad think back over all the things they wanted to do with the new baby, ...more
Danielle Simmons
This book is about a girl who does not like the idea of becomming a big sister in the least bit. She is upset when she learns she now has a new baby brother. Her father tries to ease things by letting her know all she can do with with him but she is not fond on any of the ideas. She discovered that there were things that she would like to share with her new baby brother and she liked the idea. However her dad told her that her baby brother has down syndrome and had to explain that he might not b ...more
Emma is having a baby brother. She spends the pregnancy anticipating things she and he can do together. When the baby is born with Down syndrome, she discusses with her dad if her brother can still do the things she hopes. It is sweet, and true and moving.
I was surprised that this was more than just another "a new baby is coming into our family" book. The family in this story is not only preparing their daughter for the new baby, they are starting to cope with the discovery that the new baby has Downs-Syndrome. The talk that the father has with the daughter about all the ways a new baby will change the family happened before he found out the baby had downs. When the father tries to then explain to his daughter about Downs-Syndrome she is more con ...more
Lauren Brown
This book was good. It would be good for children to help them understand down syndrome better. In the back it explains what down syndrome is and expl...moreThis book was good. It would be good for children to help them understand down syndrome better. In the back it explains what down syndrome is and explains how it affects the person and their family. The little girl in the book did not want a little brother or sister at first. Then after talking to her dad she got used to the idea. After they ...more
Jessica Benson
This book tells the story of a young girl who finds out she is getting a little brother. She is very excited when she thinks of all the things they will be able to do together until she finds out that he was born with Down Syndrome. Her father tells her that her brother will be able to do all the things she has thought of but that they will just have to be patient with him and love him very much. This book would be good if you had a child in your class who has a brother or sister with Down syndr ...more
This was one of the most beautiful books I have ever read in my life. A little girl is very excited about having a new baby brother and all the things she is going to be able to do with him. Then they find out that he has down syndrome. She is upset because she believes that she will not be able to do those things with him until her dad explains to her that with patience and understanding, her brother will still be able to do all those things.

This would be a great book to use for a lesson on ove
This book is about a little girl who is going to become a big sister. She is so excited about all of the fun things they will do. When the baby arrives, Emma finds out that her new little brother has Down syndrome. At first, she is afraid he won't be able to do the things she planned, but her dad tells her he can, but he may need a little extra help. I think this is such an inspirational book. Just because someone has Down syndrome, they are still capable of doing all kinds of things. This would ...more
The addition of a new baby to a family is a big adjustment. Big sister Emma is not sure she wants a smelly, boring new baby, but a talk with Dad helps her get excited about the fun adventures she’ll have with her new baby brother. Then she learns that her brother, Isaac, has Special Needs (Down Syndrome).Her dad is concerned and worried that she won’t be able to share adventures with her brother. So they talk about Isaac, both Emma and her dad realize that Isaac is the baby they have dreamed of. ...more
This book is about a little girl who is told she is gonna get a baby brother or sister and isn't to happy at first. Then she and her dad talk about all the things the 2 can do. When the baby is born she is told he has down syndroma and asks what can he do and the dad says with help and patience he should be able to do anything. I think this book would help kids realize that people with down syndrome can still do things they do they may just need help sometimes.
Mary Sesar
This is an adorable little book about a girl who is talking about all the things she could do when her little sibling is born. She is sad to find out that her little brother has down syndrome but her and her father go through all the things he will still be able to do with a little help.
This is a wonderful book to help get on the topic of children with disabilities and discussing what some of them are and how it effects a child.
Alyce Dougan
This story is about a little girl who has a baby brother on the way. She discusses all the fun and crazy things she wants to do with her brother. The day her brother is born she discovers he has Down syndrome. She wonders if she will be able to do the things she had planned with him. At the end of the story there is a question and answer about Down syndrome. This is a great book to explain Down syndrome to children.
Emma learns her baby brother is born with Down's Syndrome and isn't sure about what she will be able to do with him as he grows. Her dad assures her that though Isaac is a little different, with a some help he'll be able to do all those special things with his big sister... even paint an octopus red at the fair. The question and answer section in the back is also very nicely done!
Such a positive, simple, but realistic explanation of Down Syndrome through a young siblings eyes. Our personal lives are touched but quite a few people with this disability and so my little girls were very interested in the story and in the explanation that follows it. The pictures weren't overly captivating, but it was good information, with a nice approach.
Hannah Morrison
I read this book to my Kindergarten class and it raised many interesting questions in the class. Since many of my students were unaware of what Down syndrome entailed. The book had a very positive and uplifting tone toward children with Down syndrome and the the illustrations were respectful. I would definitely use this book in my class again.
I liked how this book teaches children who may experience others with disabilities that they are still able to play with them. Sometimes the differences in student behavior draw a line between those with disabilities and those who may not and at a young age in enforces them to be friendly to all. It is also a great class and family book.
Pamela Cockerell
a great book about studnets with special needs. a young girl discovers her new baby brother has Down Snydrome and she is scared she will not be able to do all the fun things she has planned on doing with him. after a talk with her father and seeing her baby brother the girl is excited because he is not different that she has imagined
This is a fantastic story about a young girl who plans things to do with her new baby brother. When her father tells her that the baby has down syndrome, she asks her father if they will still be able to do everything she planned. We'll Paint the Octopus Red is a simple way to introduce children to down syndrome.
This is a great book to introduce to the classroom. We will all have kids in our class who may have younger or older siblings with disabilities. This book shows that just because they have a disability, doesn't make them any different than any other sibling. GREAT BOOK!
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