Kirkus Reviews QR Code
KEVIN THINKS by Gail Watts


… About Outer Space, Confusing Expressions and the Perfectly Logical World of Asperger Syndrome

by Gail Watts & illustrated by Gail Watts

Age Range: 5 - 7

Pub Date: May 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-84905-292-4
Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Publishers

In this Australian import, Kevin, a grade schooler with Asperger Syndrome takes the world too literally, a problem depicted in brief language and simple illustrations.

Kevin, like everyone in this effort, looks a lot like a soup can with arms and legs—not particularly attractive. Each spread presents a statement summarizing his view of the world: “Kevin thinks that shopping centres are too bright, too noisy and boring.” On many pages a second sentence offers an often ironic comment that contrasts sharply with the boy’s point-of-view: “—but he can always find something to do there.” The accompanying illustration shows Kevin obliviously hidden under a rack of clothing watching television while a store worker reassures his panicked mother and a police officer takes a missing-child report. Another page reports that Kevin believes he isn’t very good at dancing. It shows the rest of his class partnered up, but Kevin has his finger up his nose, leaving his partner and teacher clearly repulsed. If this effort is aimed at children with Asperger, they may find some depictions offensive. If other children are the intended audience, there’s a risk of fostering more bullying and mockery.

If shared one on one as a jumping-off point for discussion, some Asperger children may find this effort amusing, but it’s a poor choice otherwise. (foreword) (Picture book. 5-7)