I saw the title of this book and immediately knew it was coming home with me.
You see, I babysat a young kiddo with autism when I was in high school and one of my dear friend’s brothers has Asperger’s. While we have come a long way since I was young in accepting and explaining what these words mean it can be difficult to find the words to explain this to younger children. This book breaks down what Asperger’s syndrome looked like in one family’s life.
With the school year just starting off this is the perfect book!
This book is written in the first person perspective of Isaac the superhero.
He explains his superpowers throughout the book; each superpower is a quirk that makes him just a little different from the kids around him. He has interests that he loves to talk about even if others aren’t interested, energy that is released in specific outlets, some of his social cues are different and he isn’t trying to be rude and more. These things make him unique and because of that it can be hard to make friends or connect to his brother but he hopes that letting you know what makes him a superhero helps you to understand him.
“I try to remember to be friendly and say hello to people I know, but sometimes I forget. I’m not being rude.”
Melanie Walsh wrote this book for those in contact with a child with Asperger’s to explain it in a “simple, gentle, and positive way.” Her son has grown up with Asperger’s as part of his life and she wished this book was around when he was young. Her illustrations are bright and perfect for this book. There aren’t overwhelming details they are aesthetically simple. Walsh includes website links in the back cover for more information on Autism and Apserger’s Syndrome while the cover has an endorsement from Massachusetts General Hospital’s Aspire Program stating, “A valuable first step in celebrating the Asperger’s child.”
Books like this are extremely helpful for kids to understand not everyone is like them and foster inclusivity.
I truly believe our differences are mean to be celebrated and not quashed out! This book is great to read to children of all ages but especially those in a school environment of any kind. I think this is a great gateway to talk about all sorts of physical and behavioral differences in a way that is respectful and in an environment that allows uncomfortable questions to be asked and answered. I know I am thankful to my parents for not sheltering me from the realities of friends and family members being sick or having different physical or behavioral disabilities. It gave me the opportunity to grow as a person and to be aware of how to include those around me.