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Hide and Shh!: A Not-So-Sneaky Sister Story about Inclusion
Dendy, Christina
After waiting all week for her sister Chloe to play with her, Dinah, a child with Down Syndrome, is disappointed when Chloe goes to play outside with her friends and not her. They’re playing sneaky spy games, but Dinah wants to play with her animal cards, and her attempt at playing the big kids’ way leaves everyone feeling frustrated. Written with care and illustrated in a joyful and bright color palette, Hide and Shh! shows readers how to include everyone in having fun, even if that involves minor adjustments. This is an excellent starting point for discussing inclusion as a concept or seeing accommodations in action, sure to find a home on any bookshelf.

Dinah is a rambunctious, joyful character who readers can’t help but root for, and Chloe is a true older sister, getting frustrated at times but ultimately meeting her sister where she’s at and everyone having fun in the end. With a simple premise and quick moving plot, Hide and Shh! will keep readers engaged and having fun, all while learning more about inclusivity and how small changes can make a big difference. Resources for further information on DS, as well as guided reading questions to prompt conversation, can be found at the end of the book.

Most important, however, is seeing Dinah living authentically throughout the narrative, and having American Sign Language scattered throughout the pages—which is mentioned as being a useful tool for folks living with DS because they sometimes struggle to speak clearly—offers greater representation for a variety of communities. Small details such as these (and the ASL card illustrations) make an affirming environment for readers living with DS and an informative environment for those unfamiliar with the syndrome. Bursting with heart and compassion, the charming and informative read provides a small look at sibling dynamics and making accommodations for those that need them.

Takeaway: A thoughtful and joyful look at inclusion, sibling dynamics, and Down Syndrome.

Comparable Titles: Lynn Plourde’s Best Buddies, Justine Greene’s Completely Toby.

Production grades
Cover: A-
Design and typography: A-
Illustrations: A
Editing: A
Marketing copy: A