I LOVE the book You Are Enough by Margaret O’Hair and inspired by Sofia Sanchez. The book starts with an introduction about Sofia who has Down syndrome. It is a description of her favorite things and how she is just like any other kid. It also describes some of the things that may be more difficult for Sofia. After this introduction, the picture book begins. It depicts children of all different races and abilities. It encourages children to try anything no matter their ability. The end of the book has an in depth description of Sofia along with photographs.
I always love when books include reference guides for adults. The very last page is a question and answer page about Down syndrome along with a guide for discussing it with children. The reason that I love when books include this is because it helps anyone be able to pick up the book and have a discussion with children. You don’t have to feel like an expert or even be 100% comfortable discussing some of the questions you think will come up. You can still pick up the book and read it to children and assure them that differences are positive. They make us who we are!
When reading this with my elementary school students, they always love the illustrations. Everyone can find a picture of someone that reflects who they are as a person. As a special education teacher, it also does a great job of assuring students that no one is perfect and that if you want to try something, you should try even if you don’t think you’ll be the best at it. It also addresses that students should be who they are even if other people don’t always understand what that means. It is an extremely powerful message that our children don’t hear enough!
I would highly recommend adding this to any classroom library. It has become a staple in mine. I read it more than once throughout the school year and students tend to take it out and put it in their own book box. It has a beautiful message about inclusion and diversity! If you don’t have it yet, get it now!