Become Friends with Annie Sullivan and Helen Keller
By Deborah Hopkinson, Illustrated by Raul Colon
Schwartz & Wade Books, $17.99, 48 pages
The familiar story of Helen Keller comes to light in this children’s picture book written by Deborah Hopkinson and illustrated by Raul Colon. Annie and Helen teaches young readers about Helen Keller and how she grows from being a healthy baby into a small child who can no longer see or hear. When Annie Sullivan comes to teach brief stories identifying Annie’s methods of teaching, finger spelling and even Braille are clearly presented for children’s understanding.
Readers can also follow along with passages pulled from Annie’s letters to her friend, Sophie Hopkins, as she writes about Helen’s progress and the troubles they face together. Reading Annie and Helen is a wonderful way for children to learn about the blind and deaf, to understand the concept of Braille and to learn about the inspiring story of Helen Keller and her teacher.
The book is beautifully illustrated with watercolors and delicate crosshatched lines to offer more detail. The front and back covers of the book are covered with black and white photographs of Helen Keller improving her skills throughout her life and even graduating from Radcliffe College in 1904. Annie and Helen would be an asset to any elementary school classroom as it is appropriate for children between the ages of four and eight.
Reviewed by Sophie Sestero