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Susan Laughs

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  310 ratings  ·  121 reviews
Susan laughs, she sings. she rides, she swings.
She gets angry, she gets sad, she is good, she is bad...

Told in rhyme, this story follows Susan through a series of familiar activities. She swims with her father, works hard in school, plays with her friends -- and even rides a horse. Lively, thoughtfully drawn illustrations reveal a portrait of a busy, happy little girl with
...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 1st 2000 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) (first published 1999)
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Average rating 3.98  · 
Rating details
 ·  310 ratings  ·  121 reviews


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Kris
Dec 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
I like the idea behind this, demonstrating that a little girl with physical challenges is just a kid. But I really didn't like the illustrations. The one of Susan's dad yelling at her would have scared the bejeesus out of me as a kid, and I don't like the "Susan's bad" line. I mean, it's countered, but I just don't like that in kids' books.
Jonathan Fowle
Mar 11, 2014 rated it liked it
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
Mallory Hackett
Susan is a typical girl in every single way except for the fact that she just happens to use a wheelchair. This book follows the daily life of Susan. She laughs, plays, eats, learns, and lives just like every other kid except that she does it all using her wheelchair. The book does not show the reader until the very last page that Susan has a physical disability so that readers get to know Susan for the person she is first. This is a great book to teach kids about how people with disabilities ar ...more
Jess
Dec 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
A good way to introduce young children to the importance of inclusion and diversity. Shows children that having a disability doesn't hold you back from achieving your goals. Suits Nursery/KS1 children.
Zachary Thompson
Aug 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ecce-2201
I enjoyed Susan laughs for demonstrating that children with disabilities can live fulfilling lives. I however do not enjoy how the book hides Susan's wheelchair until the end of the story. It sends a unfortunate implication that you have to be blind to the disability a child has. I feel the book would have been better suited if we knew Susan was wheelchair bound from the beginning.
Alice Reedy
Sep 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
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
Charlene
Dec 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Livash Ramduth
Jun 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Naomi
Feb 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing

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 rated it really liked it
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
Bridie Atkinson
Jan 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Sian
Mar 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Lisa Vegan
May 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Kaleb Beaulieu
Jan 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: exceptionalities
I enjoyed this book, I think it did a very good job at very simply reminding the reader that children with physical disabilities, such as being in a wheelchair, are just the same as any other child. This being said I didn't like some of the words used (specifically describing Susan as bad) but I understand that this may have been done for the simple rhyming structure. Additionally, it has cute and colorful illustrations that I believe will help captivate children's attention. Altogether I think ...more
Kelsey Nelson
Jan 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Richard Avalos
Jun 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is about a young girl named Susan who enjoys doing various activities with her father that many kids enjoy doing. However, after doing all these activities, readers are introduced to her wheelchair showing us that her disability does not limit her. The author of this book uses rhyme to help engage the young readers in the message she is trying to convey. This allows the younger audience able to follow the text easier and keeps them engaged. The illustrations in this book are very detai ...more
Stephie Healy
Nov 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Susan Laughs is a sweet and short children’s book. It is about a little girl whose name is Susan. It goes on to tell us all the things Susan can do and feel in a sweet and playful rhyme that goes on throughout the book. Throughout the entire book you think Susan is just a regular little girl like every other girl you have seen, since all of the things she can do seem pretty normal. It isn’t until the end where you learn that she is in a wheelchair. I loved that the author chose to do this, becau ...more
Laura Oesch
Aug 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: lower grade classrooms/schools that have a student in a wheelchair
Grade level: Pre School - first grade
Genre: Realistic Fiction- This is due to the fact that we as the reader do not know if Susan is a real person. Therefore, we cannot say if the book is non-fiction. All of the actions that Susan does another person can do these same actions.

Summary: This book is all about Susan and goes through some of the things that Susan likes to do. However, at the end of the book, we the reader finds out that Susan is in a wheelchair.

One unique feature of this book give
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Rosie Potter
Oct 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Such a fantastic book. The illustrations by Tony Ross are, as always, quite child like but enjoyable in their simplistic nature. I think books like this are so important because it really highlights the fact that we are all the same and there is no difference between us. Just like it says at the end of this book “that is Susan through and through- just like me, just like you”. It would be a fun book to read with KS1 and EYFS because it is really simple to follow and the children could join in. A ...more
Mariela Alfaro
Nov 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Megan Ewald
Mar 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Susan laughs is book with the character Susan who does all of these activities and feels all of these emotions that aren't different from anyone else even though she is different. All the pages rhyme together and on the last page you see that Susan is in a wheelchair. Every picture leading up to the last page has Susan participating in activities or feeling emotions that are no different than any other child but do not show that she is in a wheelchair.

I gave this book a 5/5 because the plot of t
...more
Jill Westerbur
Susan Laughs is a great children's book told in a rhyme pattern. The book revolves around the emotions of Susan, who is in a wheelchair. 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. It focuses on Susan’s abilities rather than on the things by which she is limited and shows that she is like all children, she is good, she is bad, she is strong, she is weak. Susan is an ...more
Sami Westrick
This story is following Susan through activities in her day. She swims with her dad, works hard for school, plays with her friends, and rides a horse. She is a busy and happy little girl. At the end of the story, it is revealed that Susan is in a wheelchair. This book show her spunky personality while being handicap and still living her best life despite her challenges. Throughout the book, illustrations are used to show details on Susan's life. Showing how she faces her challenges with a smile ...more
Kayleigh Muligan
Susan Laughs tells a story about a young girl who loves to do everything from painting to swimming. She lives a typical life except for the fact that she uses a wheelchair. The book uses simple rhyming words to describe what Susan loves to do on a daily basis. I love how the overall message in this book is so powerful. It shows that you can't be defined by the barriers that you face. I gave this book a 5 star rating because I love how they did not show that Susan had a disability until the last ...more
Jennifer
Apr 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Susan laughs is a great book representing how children with disabilities are the same as any other kids. Susan comes from a loving and happy family and she is a fun spontaneous loving girl herself. She loves to laugh and have fun always. Susan is no different from any other kid and that is what this book tries to explain. You don't even find out till the end of the book that Susan is in a wheel chair. I think this book is great because of that which is why I rated it 4 stars. It shows children t ...more
Maria Salgado
Mar 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: exceptionalities
"Susan Laughs" tells the story of Susan and all that she does. During the whole story, Susan is described only by what she does not what she is unable to do. It isn't until the very end of the book that the reader finds out that Susan uses a wheelchair. This book would be especially good for younger children to teach them about how we all have similarities and differences and that we need to seem them as a whole and not just parts of them. The story is very simple and rhymes which would benefit ...more
Alicia Tavernier
This book is a very heartwarming book. This book teaches a lesson that you are not defined by your barriers. Children can see how Susan has emotions just like them. susan can laugh, cry, be scared, and do everything that she can even though she has to use a wheelchair. This book teaches about hard work. The illustrations are bright and look as though they were drawn with colored pencils but still professional. I gave this book 5 stars out of 5 stars because of the message it gives and my own per ...more
Andrea Mack
Apr 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a story about a very busy little girl names Susan. Her life is lead with her involvement in lots of activities. At the end of the story, the author shows that this very normal girl uses a wheelchair. It teaches the reader that the character in someone should be looked at before you make judgement about differences they have. It is a great book to teach younger children about students with disabilities.
I gave it 4 stars because it is told in rhyme which is a great element. The story also
...more
Hollie
Apr 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Susan Laughs is a heartwarming story that uses rhyme to show the activities and happenings in a little girl named Susans everyday life. She goes to school, plays with her friends, swims and rides horses, and does just about everything any other kid can do, except she does it all while being in a wheelchair. This story educates young kids on what its like to have a physical disability, and to let those kids who do have disabilities know they are not alone, and that they can do all of the same thi ...more
Dian Zulkarnain
Feb 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful book. Will pleasantly surprise you. A classic that will forever remain among lovely gift ideas. Gave mine away to a beloved friend as baby shower present.

I first came across it during a lecture in Paediatrics given by an English professor who taught us on the intersection of children's literature and medicine. <3 Go on, read it, fall in love with it, buy several copies and gift your loved ones!
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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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