Children and the AIDS Virus: A Book for Children, Parents, & Teachers

Rosmarie Hausherr, Author Clarion Books $15.95 (48p) ISBN 978-0-89919-834-7
Other books about AIDS have been published for middle readers but photojournalist Hausherr is one of the first to address this perplexing tragedy in a picture book. The format places a main text printed in large type for young children, with a more detailed text printed nearby for older children and adults. Hausherr begins by asking children to look at body parts, from large to small, down to what can't be closely examined--cells. Readers are cleverly invited in: ``You will be glad to know that children almost never get this virus.'' But when the information is of a more frightening nature, the tone becomes distant and therefore less scary: ``Usually, the AIDS virus cannot enter our body through the skin.'' Hausherr also diminishes fear by showing what can be shared with children who have AIDS, such as kisses and funny secrets. Occasionally, material in the adult section could have been included in the large print text, such as a fuller explanation of ARC. The second part of the book is hopeful, profiling two children with AIDS--one, who at age 10, is the longest surviving child born with the virus. The last section--aimed at adults--includes a resource list and bibliography. Unfortunately, none of the books now available for older children are listed. The occasional unevenness of the book is compensated for in its overall success in reaching and reassuring its target audience. Ages 5-9. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1989
Release date: 04/01/1989
Paperback - 48 pages - 978-0-395-51167-1
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