It’s Autism Awareness Month (April) so what better time to read and review a children’s book that teaches us exactly how to be more aware and inclusive of neuro-diversity?
Stewie Boom! and Princess Penelope learn to always take the time to include everyone in their activities, and to also make friends with people they wouldn’t normally be drawn to. Penelope plays with Eric at school and enjoys herself, and then learns through her mother that he is on the spectrum. They then prepare for a play date with Eric so that he will not get overwhelmed during their time together, and can all enjoy themselves. The story ends with a successful play date and a new friend for the Boom! kids.
My kids were immediately drawn to the book as soon as I opened the envelope it arrived in so we pretty much read it straight away. Both my 2 and 4 year olds loved it so much that I had to stop at the third consecutive reading! Needless to say it has become our go-to bedtime story this week. What I personally really loved about this book was the following:
- Excellent advice for kids to include everyone, even those who seem “different”. I have a child who suffers from severe anxiety and some of her coping skills may be a little strange, and I always worry about her feeling excluded at school.
- Great tips on how children AND adults can understand how certain things may affect people on the spectrum differently, like loud noises for example. Talking about it normalizes it which is super important.
- The illustrations are not only beautiful, they are diverse and inclusive. As a multi-racial family this is really important to us, but it’s important in general. All kids should be able to see themselves represented. Representation really matters.
- The emotion portrayed by Eric’s mother when she comes to pick him up and sees how much he has enjoyed himself - I can totally relate to that.
- With averages of 1 kid in 68 being on the spectrum this type of story should be the norm in all homes in my opinion. We should all be continuously working on being inclusive, diverse, and understanding.
- I loved all of the resources that come with the book: so much important and accessible information for parents!!
I’m going to get the other Stewie Boom! books for my kids as we loved this one so much.