We’ll Paint the Octopus Red

by Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen (Ages 5-10)

Anticipating the birth of her younger brother, six-year-old Emma imagines all the wonderful and exciting things they will do together. When Emma’s dad tells her that her new-born brother Isaac has Down Syndrome, she worries that all of the things she has dreamed of doing with him will now be impossible. As Emma and her father discuss Isaac’s disability, they realize that he is the baby they have been dreaming of and that with their support there will be nothing he can’t do. The family comes to understand that if they’re open and encouraging, their child will have every opportunity to reach any goal, which is ultimately true for all children, regardless of their abilities. We’ll Paint the Octopus Red places the focus on people’s abilities, not their limitations.