Be Good to Eddie Lee

written by Virginia Fleming, illustrated by Floyd Cooper

Christy grows to appreciate the knowledge of and sensitivity to nature shown by her neighbor Eddie Lee, a Down's Syndrome child.

Eddie Lee is a Down's Syndrome child. In the illustrations his facial features clearly identify his mental and physical challenges. Christy's mother has asked her to "be good to Eddie Lee" but she is uncomfortable around him and prefers the company of her (normal) pal JimBud. Eddie Lee persistently tags along despite their lack of welcome and Christy soon realizes that Eddie Lee has a lot to offer as a friend.

Impressionistic oil wash paintings fairly glow with the sunshine that filters through the wooded scenes. Detailed references to the pyracantha bush, the belted kingfisher, and the "beaver-gnawed birches," supported by the luminous paintings, suggest its value as a nature story.

The story accurately captures the attitudes and behavior children often adopt when it comes to tolerating peers who are different. The depiction of Eddie Lee is realistic, yet positive and non-threatening. This book was used with great success in preparing young readers at our school for sharing experiences with students in the Functional Skills class which included several Down's Syndrome children.