This is a picture book for foundation and key stage one students. (Primary One in Scotland) It is a happy book for children inviting them to share a day in the life of Susan. There is very little text, sometimes only two words to a page. We read that Susan laughs, she splashes, she swings on her swing. There are lots of pictures of Susan enjoying life with her family and friends. Young children will enjoy sharing her laughter. The final sentence is ‘This is Susan through and through, just like me and just like you.’ On the last page is a picture of laughing Susan sitting in her wheelchair.
As the story is so simple there is no need for formal questions for discussion. Teachers are encouraged to use the book with young children to focus on the joy of being an individual child.
An important part of HMD’s 21st century message is recognising differences and valuing individual people.
A special note to teachers – but not one to share with primary students, under the Nazi regime disabled people, like Susan, were murdered by the Nazi State under the T4 programme because they did not fit Nazi ideals of perfect people within a master race.
You can download the PDF version of the Susan Laughs book activity.