Imparts a message of inclusivity; may help those struggling to understand friends on the autism spectrum.

LUCY'S AMAZING FRIEND

A STORY OF AUTISM AND FRIENDSHIP

Debut author Workman tackles the challenging topic of befriending a child with autism in this sympathetic and triumphant, if amateurishly illustrated, picture book.

Lucy, who is 8 years old, is eager to make friends with the new kid at school, and she quickly compliments his wonderful drawing. When the boy, Daniel, ignores her, she gets angry and can’t understand why he won’t talk to her. After her teacher explains autism, Lucy tries again, this time talking to Daniel’s aide. Lucy’s friends Sophia and Flynn don’t understand her interest in Daniel, and when the other kids at school laugh at his strange behavior, Lucy decides to stick up for him. That’s the beginning of their friendship, and after that, they spend more time together. She discovers how much she and Daniel have in common, and she learns about Daniel’s amazing memory. Lucy invites her classmates to her birthday party at a water park, where she talks Daniel into going down the waterslide with her. Encouraged by his mother, Daniel has a fantastic time. The experience breaks down the barrier between Daniel and the other kids, and suddenly, Lucy’s classmates don’t find him so weird any more. After the party, Sophia and Flynn realize what Lucy has known all along: Daniel is amazing. Lucy is a brave protagonist who is willing to support a friend no one else understands. Daniel is harder to identify with, but Lucy’s belief in him is clear and inspiring. What appear to be ink-and–colored-pencil drawings (by illustrator Raynes) feature a diverse array of children with different ethnicities, dress styles and interests, heightening the idea that while all the kids are different, they can all find ways to have fun together. However, the characters, which have strangely large eyes and lips, look odd and unpolished.

Imparts a message of inclusivity; may help those struggling to understand friends on the autism spectrum.

Pub Date: Aug. 10, 2014

ISBN: 978-1939739391

Page Count: 34

Publisher: Riverrun Bookstore Inc

Review Posted Online: Nov. 12, 2014

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ABIYOYO RETURNS

The seemingly ageless Seeger brings back his renowned giant for another go in a tuneful tale that, like the art, is a bit sketchy, but chockful of worthy messages. Faced with yearly floods and droughts since they’ve cut down all their trees, the townsfolk decide to build a dam—but the project is stymied by a boulder that is too huge to move. Call on Abiyoyo, suggests the granddaughter of the man with the magic wand, then just “Zoop Zoop” him away again. But the rock that Abiyoyo obligingly flings aside smashes the wand. How to avoid Abiyoyo’s destruction now? Sing the monster to sleep, then make it a peaceful, tree-planting member of the community, of course. Seeger sums it up in a postscript: “every community must learn to manage its giants.” Hays, who illustrated the original (1986), creates colorful, if unfinished-looking, scenes featuring a notably multicultural human cast and a towering Cubist fantasy of a giant. The song, based on a Xhosa lullaby, still has that hard-to-resist sing-along potential, and the themes of waging peace, collective action, and the benefits of sound ecological practices are presented in ways that children will both appreciate and enjoy. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-689-83271-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2001

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A DOG NAMED SAM

A book that will make young dog-owners smile in recognition and confirm dogless readers' worst suspicions about the mayhem caused by pets, even winsome ones. Sam, who bears passing resemblance to an affable golden retriever, is praised for fetching the family newspaper, and goes on to fetch every other newspaper on the block. In the next story, only the children love Sam's swimming; he is yelled at by lifeguards and fishermen alike when he splashes through every watering hole he can find. Finally, there is woe to the entire family when Sam is bored and lonely for one long night. Boland has an essential message, captured in both both story and illustrations of this Easy-to-Read: Kids and dogs belong together, especially when it's a fun-loving canine like Sam. An appealing tale. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-8037-1530-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1996

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