My Art, My World
My Art, My World
And this is the cash register where I put the money
from the people who buy brownies, cookies, drinks
and chocolate bars from me.
Learning to use this machine was hard
but now I am great at it.
I never give the wrong change.
Well, almost never.
In My Art, My World, the reader is treated to Rita Winkler’s insightful dialogue about her days, interests and artwork. A young woman living with Down syndrome, Winkler’s dry sense of humor will greatly appeal to children. The publishers of her work have respected her unique voice, and the resulting book is at once charming and fresh.
Art remains the unifying thread connecting Winkler’s experiences and grounding the tales about what her life is like. Each vignette about Winkler’s life is accompanied by her bold artwork. Using a variety of media, Winkler portrays her friends, the streets of New York where her Uncle Mark lives, the fireworks on New Year’s Eve and the bus she takes to her job at a Toronto coffee shop.
The overarching narrative of the text is quite simple; this book is a lens into one young woman’s experience of living with Down syndrome and navigating her world. Her wry and cheery voice easily reflects her joyful life. The book offers children a look at someone’s life, someone who may at first seem very different from them. While My Art, My World could be particularly useful in classroom settings, it would equally benefit everyone building an inclusive children’s book collection for the young readers in their lives.
Catherine-Laura Dunnington is a preschool teacher and doctoral candidate at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Education.