Since We're Friends: An Autism Picture Book

Since We're Friends: An Autism Picture Book

by Celeste Shally, David Harrington, Alison Singer
     
 

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Matt’s autism doesn’t stop him from having fun! Even when Matt struggles to navigate social situations, his friend is there to help him out. The two boys enjoy playing sports, watching movies, reading books, and talking about animals. Working together, a best friend’s compassion and understanding turn Matt’s frustration into excitement.

Overview


Matt’s autism doesn’t stop him from having fun! Even when Matt struggles to navigate social situations, his friend is there to help him out. The two boys enjoy playing sports, watching movies, reading books, and talking about animals. Working together, a best friend’s compassion and understanding turn Matt’s frustration into excitement. Whether on the basketball court, the playground swings, or at the neighborhood pool, the two friends enjoy each other’s company. 

David Harrington’s colorful illustrations complement Celeste Shally’s touching story of friendship to create a book that is the perfect guide for children and parents to better understand those with autism spectrum disorders.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Hazel Buys
The subtitle, "An Autism Picture Book," helps explain this book's didactic tone. The friend in this story (who is not named) is every parent's idea of a perfect friend for their autistic child: long-suffering, unfailingly inventive in solving problems that come up and unconcerned about his own place in his peer group's social order. This friend's point of view is very mature, really that of an adult; thus, this is not a picture book about the ups and downs of most friendships in the real world. The bright, well designed and uncomplicated illustrations match in style the simplistic content in which the difficulties encountered in being Matt's (the child with autism) friend are depicted as easily resolved if only a playmate has enough imagination and patience. Shally has missed the opportunity, however, to present a more realistic, balanced view of what is required to facilitate such friendships. Most children do not have the endless patience and stoic cheerfulness of Matt's friend. Not once does Matt's friend ask an adult for help nor does he run out of ideas or get tired of the demands of being Matt's friend. On the positive side, Shally's book works well as an instruction set, a guide to qualities that will help a child to be a friend to someone with autism. From this point of view, Shally has written an important contribution to the resources available to parents, teachers and caregivers of children with autism who want to encourage inclusiveness. This picture book would be a good addition to a preschool or early elementary school classroom or library to help teachers or parents lead a discussion with their children about including a child with autism in their social activities. Reviewer: Hazel Buys
School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 2- An unnamed child tells about his friendship with Matt, a boy with autism. Matt's condition is addressed directly, but then glossed over, as if his behavior were not really a problem. For example, when talking about playing basketball, the narrator says, "Sometimes Matt has a hard time following directions at practice.... Since we're friends, I show Matt what to do." Children who are autistic don't simply have a hard time following directions; they have difficulty attending to what is going on around them. They often have trouble with any organized sports, and while it is thoughtful for a child to volunteer to show Matt what to do, it is unrealistic to expect that he will respond to this "extra" help so easily. Both boys are drawn as cartoon characters; one is white and one is black. They are generally smiling, although Matt's expressions change with his mood. The message in this book is not to be ignored; it is important for normally functioning children to befriend those with disabilities. But, it is unreasonable and a little disingenuous to suggest that a classmate can ensure that a child with autism will play well with others and be accepted by the group. Accomplishing this is beyond what most professionals could attain.-Wendy Smith-D'Arezzo, Loyola College, Baltimore, MD

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781616086565
Publisher:
Sky Pony Press
Publication date:
04/10/2012
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
136,605
Product dimensions:
9.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.40(d)
Lexile:
AD750L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

CELESTE SHALLY holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Northern Illinois
University. Her oldest son was diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder at the age of three.
Shally lives with her husband and two sons in
Centerton, Arkansas.

DAVID HARRINGTON is an illustrator of numerous children’s books, including Maccabee!
The Story of Hanukkah. He owns a studio in
Orange County, where he has worked as a freelance illustrator since 1993. He lives in Laguna
Hills, California.

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