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Don't Laugh At Me: Reading Rainbow Book    by Steve Seskin, Allen Shamblin & Glin Dibley order for
Don't Laugh At Me
by Steve Seskin
Order:  USA  Can
Tricycle Press, 2004 (2004)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

I wanted to review this book after hearing renowned educator Barbara Coloroso mention it in one of her talks on bullying. It opens 'I'm a little boy with glasses, / the one they call a geek. / A little girl who never smiles / 'cause I've got braces on my teeth.'

I was a child like that and have children like that - probably most of us have felt an outsider at some stage in our lives, the one on the sidelines who is 'always chosen last.' This picture book portrays how it feels to be a vulnerable child or adult, and then pleads 'Don't laugh at me. / Don't call me names. / Don't get your pleasure from my pain. / In God's eyes we're all the same.' I especially like the ending - after a bunch of differences are shown, comes the challenge 'I'm deaf, I'm blind. / Hey, aren't we all?'

The picture book comes with a CD (the music is included at the back also), which sensitively conveys how it feels to be excluded. I think every elementary school should have a copy, should play the song, and explore the ideas together, to create more caring communities of kids and adults.

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