Trudy & Me
by Bridget Campbell
with photography by Jo Tenant
"So, if you meet someone 'different'
And don't know what to say,
Why not smile and sign hello
And Make a friend that day."
Patrick introduces his younger sibling, Trudy, who has Down's Syndrome. Sometimes he explains a little, but mostly he simply celebrates her agency. Trudy bangs away on the xylophone, flies down slides, relishes beach mud and sooooars on her swing. Her play is noisy, effervescent and inspires a smile so wide it travels on to the book's cover title as well as the page numbers. Trudy perhaps doesn't yet walk but she's a "supertastic shuffler"; she doesn't yet talk but her family are "all talking with our hands". An endearing and very floppy-eared bunny is always by her side (a backnote encourages readers to do a bunny count!) as is Patrick, occasionally supporting her play (e.g. helping her to dance standing up), more often simply joining in.
Inspired by her friend's children, the author has created a rhyming, rhythmic picture book which will resonate with many families. It's also an honest book which recognises children's curiosity and addresses their questions head on though a brilliant Q&A at the back- alongside several other resources. This bookseller appreciates that not a single page is wasted, right through to the end pages with photos of the 'real' Trudy and Patrick. Age 3-7, Hardback 36pp