This book works on several levels. It is a lovely story in itself that most children will relate to, dealing as it does with lack of self-belief, peer pressure and the bullying that goes along with not necessarily being the most popular kid in class. These issues can be readily picked up in school and discussed in circle time and PSHE (citizenship) lessons.
But it goes deeper. Whilst not named in the book explicitly, the three main characters exhibit dyspraxic, dyslexic and autistic (Asperger's Syndrome) tendencies respectively. So the story can be used by parents and teachers as a catalyst for discussing what it is like to have a learning difficulty. In schools, teachers can use the book on a one-to-one, group or class basis to help raise awareness and improve well-being.
Both author and illustrator are keen to raise awareness of specific learning difficulties in a way accessible to children. The illustrator is herself autistic.
The publisher is dedicated to publishing books that share experiences, improve understanding and celebrate differences. To this end it provides free cross-curricula teaching resources with all of its books at www.yourstoriesmatter.org
|Publisher:||Explainer HQ Ltd|
|Product dimensions:||5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.40(d)|
|Age Range:||7 - 9 Years|
About the Author
Ruth Mutch is a young artist, living in Glasgow with her rather lazy cat Phoebe. She is autistic and has a post graduate qualification in autism as well as a Primary Educational Studies degree and an HND in interactive media. She has a lot of experience of autistic children. Mutch has done various illustrations for autism awareness including an e-learning course but this is her first venture into illustrating a children's fiction book which she is very excited about!
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Vera hates school, well she hates it on certain days, but Monday’s are the worse. One of the reasons that she hates school is that she finds it hard to concentrate, and often daydreams, which annoys her teachers. Together with her friends Harry, who finds reading and writing difficult, and Max who doesn’t always understand what people are telling him, nor likes to be touched, the three find school a struggle as each of them have different learning difficulties, but whilst they might find certain things at school difficult, in other areas they thrive. What a lovely children’s book. All three main characters are beautifully written and a joy to read about. Vera herself gives you a personal insight into her life throughout. I’ve said it a few times in past reviews, but I really do love books for children that not only contain fascinating stories, but those that will keep the readers hooked to the pages, whilst subtly arming them with lots of knowledge. In today’s society, whilst we have moved forward considerably in helping people understand about learning difficulties, there is still a long way to go. This book will certainly help to educate children about diversity, and that everyone has their weaknesses, and their strengths. All schools should own a copy of this book, as it is a superb read. It is also written so that it is easy to understand and follow, and illustrated beautifully by Ruth Mutch, who also has learning difficulties. Children will also love the mission at the back of the book, to help find the 15 missing penguins that are hidden throughout the story. What a fantastic idea.