4 out of 4 stars
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Helix is a turtle who has just been invited to his first sleepover! He is excited about spending the night at his buddy Edward’s house. Helix is a little nervous at the thought of being away from home, but his mother helps to ease his fears by having him practice getting in and out of his sleeping bag. Helix was born with a spinal disorder, and he cannot use his back legs. He is fitted with a pair of “super cool wheels” that look like small skateboard wheels to help him move around.
On the day of the sleepover, Edward runs down the front stairs of his house to greet Helix and his mom. When they realize that the stairs are the only way into Edward’s house (which also has lots of stairs inside), Helix is devastated and fights back tears of disappointment. He cannot climb the stairs with his wheels. What will the friends do? Will Helix’s mom think of an idea to save their sleepover plans?
In Helix Rolls Into a Sleepover, Edward goes from not really seeing his friend’s disability to assuming he can’t do certain things. After Edward realizes that Helix can do whatever he can do, it is heartwarming to see Edward asking his friend if his wheels hurt him and how he manages things like reaching his plate at the dinner table.
This is a delightful children’s book written by Randal Betz Jr. and Carol Mason Shrader with illustrations by Claudio Icuza. The character Helix is based on an actual turtle named Helix with the same spinal disorder and wheels. This is the second book in the Helix series. The first book introduces Helix and tells how he got his wheels.
This book has many great qualities, but what I like most is that every aspect is geared toward the young reader. The entire book is written in dialogue, and the sentences are short, simple, and educational. The bold font is black and easy to see on a white background. Besides the wonderful illustrations that support the story, there is a character named Wormy hidden on each page, and the reader is challenged to find him. I will admit, I looked for Wormy before I read every page. It reminded me of Where’s Waldo?
There is nothing that I dislike about this book. At thirty-nine colorful pages plus a seven-page appendix, it is the perfect length for the target age group (ages seven to nine). Coauthor Carol Shrader has two sons with cerebral palsy, and her influence on this story, particularly in addressing people with disabilities, is apparent.
I rate Helix Rolls Into a Sleepover 4 out of 4 stars. I did not notice any grammatical errors in the book. It is exceptionally well edited and illustrated. I highly recommend this book to all families with young readers. Shrader says that “her children have taught her that no matter what our differences, we can always find something in common.” The authors pass this lesson on to everyone who reads this book.
Helix Rolls Into a Sleepover
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