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BEST FRIEND ON WHEELS by Debra Shirley

BEST FRIEND ON WHEELS

By Debra Shirley (Author) , Judy Stead (Illustrator)

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: March 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-8075-8868-0
Publisher: Whitman

Shirley celebrates friendship and helps dispel many misconceptions about life in a wheelchair. Best friends like many of the same things and these two girls are no different. They adore peach pie and Frisbee and pizza without the peppers. They first met in second grade when the teacher asks the rhyming narrator to show the new girl around. When she sees that the new pig-tailed student is in a wheelchair, her unease is such that she fidgets and stammers. Then she sees the badge that says, “ROCKHOUND.” Quickly, discomfort vanishes as the girls bubble with enthusiasm over their shared interest. As their friendship grows she learns that, though the wheelchair clearly changes her friend’s life, her personality still shines through. They can still stay up late at sleepovers and even dance: “She spins on her wheels and twirls every which way.” She learns that it’s mostly others who feel uncomfortable and have difficulty seeing past the wheelchair to the person. Stead’s energetic illustrations add to the atmosphere of exuberance with bright yellows and pinks and the pure delight shining from the girl’s faces. (Picture book. 4-8)