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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Playful, engaging, and full of opportunities for empathy—a raucous storytime hit.

THERE'S A MONSTER IN YOUR BOOK

From the Who's in Your Book? series

Readers try to dislodge a monster from the pages of this emotive and interactive read-aloud.

“OH NO!” the story starts. “There’s a monster in your book!” The blue, round-headed monster with pink horns and a pink-tipped tail can be seen cheerfully munching on the opening page. “Let’s try to get him out,” declares the narrator. Readers are encouraged to shake, tilt, and spin the book around, while the monster careens around an empty background looking scared and lost. Viewers are exhorted to tickle the monster’s feet, blow on the page, and make a really loud noise. Finally, shockingly, it works: “Now he’s in your room!” But clearly a monster in your book is safer than a monster in your room, so he’s coaxed back into the illustrations and lulled to sleep, curled up under one page and cuddling a bit of another like a child with their blankie. The monster’s entirely cute appearance and clear emotional reactions to his treatment add to the interactive aspect, and some young readers might even resist the instructions to avoid hurting their new pal. Children will be brought along on the monster’s journey, going from excited, noisy, and wiggly to calm and steady (one can hope).

Playful, engaging, and full of opportunities for empathy—a raucous storytime hit. (Picture book. 2-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6456-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: June 5, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2017

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A rollicking tale of rivalry.

IT HAPPENED ON SWEET STREET

Sweet Street had just one baker, Monsieur Oliphant, until two new confectionists move in, bringing a sugar rush of competition and customers.

First comes “Cookie Concocter par excellence” Mademoiselle Fee and then a pie maker, who opens “the divine Patisserie Clotilde!” With each new arrival to Sweet Street, rivalries mount and lines of hungry treat lovers lengthen. Children will delight in thinking about an abundance of gingerbread cookies, teetering, towering cakes, and blackbird pies. Wonderfully eccentric line-and-watercolor illustrations (with whites and marbled pastels like frosting) appeal too. Fine linework lends specificity to an off-kilter world in which buildings tilt at wacky angles and odd-looking (exclusively pale) people walk about, their pantaloons, ruffles, long torsos, and twiglike arms, legs, and fingers distinguishing them as wonderfully idiosyncratic. Rotund Monsieur Oliphant’s periwinkle complexion, flapping ears, and elongated nose make him look remarkably like an elephant while the women confectionists appear clownlike, with exaggerated lips, extravagantly lashed eyes, and voluminous clothes. French idioms surface intermittently, adding a certain je ne sais quoi. Embedded rhymes contribute to a bouncing, playful narrative too: “He layered them and cherried them and married people on them.” Tension builds as the cul de sac grows more congested with sweet-makers, competition, frustration, and customers. When the inevitable, fantastically messy food fight occurs, an observant child finds a sweet solution amid the delicious detritus.

A rollicking tale of rivalry. (Picture book. 4-8 )

Pub Date: July 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-101-91885-2

Page Count: 44

Publisher: Tundra Books

Review Posted Online: April 8, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2020

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