All Kinds of Friends, Even Green!

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9781890627355: All Kinds of Friends, Even Green!
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(2003 Skipping Stones Honor Award) In school, Moses, and the rest of his class are given the assignment of choosing a friend to write about. As he wonders which person to choose, he thinks of his circle of friends and what they share together. Some friends are kids like Jimmy, who says funny things, and Manuel, who races with Moses on the playground. Other friends are grown-ups like Mom and Dad, and teachers. Neighbors too, can be friends, like Kate, his teen-aged babysitter. Kate owns two really cute iguanas. One of the iguanas, Zaki, is missing toes. That's it! Moses will write about Zaki. After all, they really have something in common. Moses and Zaki both have special needs. Zaki, with her missing toes, must figure out new ways to move around and get to where she wants to go, which is exactly what Moses must do in his wheelchair! More than just a story about friendship, ALL KINDS OF FRIENDS, EVEN GREEN! looks at difference---such as being in a wheelchair or missing toes---in a unique way. With this beautifully photographed and engaging story, children discover that living with disability and facing its challenges can be seen as interesting, even positive. With an Afterword about disabilities, Moses, and iguanas, the story provides material for discussing inclusion at school and home.

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About the Author:

Ellen Senisi is an author and photo-illustrator of more than ten children's books, one of which is also about special needs. She has degrees in education as well as educational media and technology and works full-time creating books. Ms. Senisi lives in Schenectady, New York, with her husband and three children, one of whom appears with her iguanas in All Kinds of Friends, Even Green!

From School Library Journal:

Kindergarten-Grade 4-When his teacher gives an assignment to write about a friend, seven-year-old Moses considers classmates, neighbors, parents, and teachers before finally deciding on Zaki, his teenage neighbor's iguana, because she is different yet determined, like him. Using a wheelchair due to disabilities including spina bifida, Moses nevertheless participates in all of the classroom activities. Zaki has missing toes, yet has learned to compensate by using her strong front legs to keep up with Hashi, her companion iguana. Bright, bold photographs depict surroundings and experiences from Moses's and Zaki's points of view, with the text appearing on what looks like lined notebook paper at the bottom. Some words appear larger, in unusual places, or in contrasting colors to provide emphasis and interest. The multicultural class, including another child in a wheelchair, is credible and familiar, with scenes occurring on the playground, in the library, and in the classroom. Information following the story provides background about disabilities and iguanas. The clear and varied photographs carry the sometimes weak and slightly confusing text, which includes such phrases as "gotta see my friends!" and words appearing against busy backgrounds. The message of acceptance, coupled with a matter-of-fact portrayal of a disabled youngster, makes this a good choice for most collections.
Susan McCaffrey, Haslett High School, MI
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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