Stuttering Stan Takes a Stand – Stuttering Awareness Week May 12-18

Stuttering Stan Takes a Stand

Artie Knapp, Author

Barbara L. Gibson, Illustrator

Mighty Book Inc., 2010, Fiction

Suitable for: Ages 4 and up

Themes: Stuttering, Bullying, Friendship, Courage

Opening:  “Remember, the early bird gets the worm, Stanley.  Bu…Bu…But, I am a squirrel, Mom.  Why should I care about what birds do?  This will be  your first winter on your own, so you need a head start to store as many nuts as you can.”  This is a book about a squirrel who stutters and how he is treated by his woodland friends who either tease and bully him, or support him.   Stanley is hurt and ambivalent.  Stanley half-heartedly goes about searching for nuts, because he’s already hidden a stash of chocolate bars that a truck dumped.   Raker, a raccoon, steals a few bars of candy.  Stanley hides the rest of the candy where no one can find it, and runs away from home.  He meets a cute girl squirrel, who doesn’t mind his stuttering.  Through her encouragement and friendship, Stanley returns home to face the bullies with a rather surprising result.

Why I like this book:  Artie Knapp has written an enchanting and funny story about self-respect, friendship, courage and forgiveness.  His story will help kids who stutter see themselves in Stan and learn some coping skills.  The book will also help kids  who don’t stutter have a better understanding about stuttering.   Barbara Gibson’s illustrations are colorful and engaging.  This a good book to use with a child who stutters, as well as a great book to used int the classroom.

Resources:  May 12-18 is National Stuttering Awareness Week.  It is chaired by actor Nicholas Brendon, who played  “Xander” in the TV series Buffy and the Vampire Slayer.   Acting helped him overcome his stuttering.  For resources, check out the Stuttering Foundation of America.  The foundation also provides a wealth of educational  information on stuttering, referrals to therapists nationwide, myths about stuttering, a page where kids and teens can share their stories and a book, Trouble at Recess, that can be downloaded to  your computer.  There are plenty of ideas on this website that parents and teachers can use at home and at school.

Interesting facts from the Stuttering Foundation:  More than 68 million people worldwide stutter;  3 million Americans stutter.  Stuttering affects four times as many males as females.   Approximately 5 percent of all children go through a period of stuttering that lasts six months or more.  That is why early intervention is so important.  Three-quarters of those will recover by late childhood, leaving one percent with long-term problems.  Famous people who stuttered include King George VI, Winston Churchill, Nicole Kidman, James Earl Jones, Marilyn Monroe, Tiger Woods, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Carly Simon, Jane Seymour and many more.

Book Giveaway:  I have an extra copy of Stuttering Stan.  If you have a child, grandchild or know of a child with a stuttering problem, who would enjoy this book, let me know in your comment.

To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Books.  Or click on the Perfect Picture Book Fridays  badge in the right sidebar.

Wendi’s Magical Voice — Stuttering Awareness Week

Wendi’s Magical Voice, is written and illustrated by Brit Kohls.  It is available to all kids who stutter through the Stuttering Foundation of America.

This imaginative and  fun story is about a good little witch who stutters and does everything within her magical powers to disappear at school so that she won’t have to speak.  Wendi experiences fear, embarrassment,  anger, frustration and shame when she’s asked to introduce herself at school.    While the other children are practicing their tricks for the Magic Fair, Wendi hides under her desk, hoping to be  invisible.  It isn’t until she meets Peter the  Troll, who befriends her  and invites her to be his partner for the Magic Fair, that Wendi  finally finds a creative way to move beyond her fear.

Children will delight in this magical book, as Kohls has portrayed each child as a different storybook character, thus emphasizing the fact we are all unique in our own special way.

May 9-15 has been designated as National Stuttering Awareness Week, with Colin Firth as honorary chairman.   The Stuttering Foundation of America is the largest nonprofit charitable organization in the world working toward prevention and improved treatment of stuttering.  They reach over 1  million people annually.  According to Jane Fraser, president, “Since the King’s Speech was released last December, the movie has brought a lot of attention to the world of stutterers.”  The foundation also provides a wealth of educational  information on stuttering, referrals to therapists nationwide, myths about stuttering, a page where kids and teens can share their stories and a book, Trouble at Recess, that can be downloaded to  your computer.

Some interesting facts from the foundation:  More than 68 million people worldwide stutter;  3 million Americans stutter.  Stuttering affects four times as many males as females.   Approximately 5 percent of all children go through a period of stuttering that lasts six months or more.  That is why early intervention is so important.  Three-quarters of those will recover by late childhood, leaving 1 percent with long-term problems.

Famous people who stuttered include King George VI, Winston Churchill, Nicole Kidman, James Earl Jones, Marilyn Monroe, Tiger Woods, Andrew Lloyd Webber, and Jane Seymour.