When Lindsey Alexander of Dubuque, Iowa, was 7, she learned that her father was HIV positive. Among the countless questions Lindsey asked were: Will my dad die? What will people think? Will my friends still play with me? Confronted by his daughter's confusion, Earl Alexander cowrote My Dad Has HIV (27 pages, Fairview Press, $14.95) with two local elementary school teachers, Sheila Rudin and Pam Sejkora. The book answers not only Lindsey's questions, but those that her friends and classmates had about AIDS.
My Dad Has HIV breaches the disease's complicated and challenging barrier with its sensitive, hopeful, accurate and -- yes -- wholesome perspective. In this big, warm embrace of a story, sweetly illustrated by Ronnie Walter Shipman, Alexander and his co-authors have pulled off the near-impossible -- a children's book that offers a crash course in all AIDS issues -- from the science of transmission and disease to the moral and psychological challenges -- without being preachy, pedantic or PC, on one hand, or condescending, on the other.