Wings of EPOH – Perfect Picture Book

Wings of EPOH

Gerda Weissmann Klein, Author

Peter H. Reynolds, Illustrator

FableVision, Inc., Fiction, 2008

Suitable for:  For All Ages

Themes:  Autism Spectrum Disorder,  Hope, Courage, Friendship

Opening/Synopsis “Matthew was running.   He was running very fast, skipping over the bright green grass, over the yellow dandelions and the smiling daisies, with the wind singing in his hair.”  This is a story about a boy who has an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and his journey to find meaning, acceptance and friendship in a world that is confusing to him.  For Matthew, lights are too bright and sounds are too loud.  He has trouble communicating his thoughts and feelings until he meets a butterfly named EPOH (Hope spelled backward).  EPOH and Matthew communicate through their thoughts.  EPOH shares the struggles she’s faced in her life.  Matthew finds this uplifting friendship changes the way he views his own difficulties, and finds courage and hope.

Why I like this book:   Even though this book is about a boy with autism, it has universal appeal for all children.  Every child will at some point feel left out, isolated and struggle to fit in.   It is a great book for the classroom to help children deal with differences and inclusion.  Children will identify with Matthew.   This is an inspiring book written by Gerda Weissmann Klein, a well-known author, lecturer and Holocaust survivor whose story was made into the film, One Survivor Remembers.   Peter H. Reynolds’ rich illustrations bring Wings of Epoh to life.  Reynolds has also written a book on autism, I’m Here, which I reviewed last fall.

Resources:  Gerda and Peter collaborated on the book, and a DVD film of Wings of Epoh.   The DVD includes a user guide Tips for Friends, Parents, and Teachers, developed to help teachers and parents provide strategies for social communication to a child or student with ASD or other social differences.   The tips are to be used as part of a discussion following the film.  There also is an Educator’s Activity Guide.  For information and resources contact FableVision Learning.

Gerda is donating a portion of the proceeds of Wings of Epoh to the Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center (SARRC), another great resource for parents.

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.

About Patricia Tiltonhttps://childrensbooksheal.wordpress.comI want "Children's Books Heal" to be a resource for parents, grandparents, teachers and school counselors. My goal is to share books on a wide range of topics that have a healing impact on children who are facing challenges in their lives. If you are looking for good books on grief, autism, visual and hearing impairments, special needs, diversity, bullying, military families and social justice issues, you've come to the right place. I also share books that encourage art, imagination and creativity. I am always searching for those special gems to share with you. If you have a suggestion, please let me know.

44 thoughts on “Wings of EPOH – Perfect Picture Book

  1. This sounds like another wonderful book, Pat. I’m glad you explained EPOH – at this hour of the morning I was not going to figure that out 🙂 I like that this book can be universally appealing to kids who struggle with differences and fitting in. Thanks for adding another great book to our list!

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    • Susanna, I didn’t want to explain EPOH, but it was important for the review. It is a perfect way to introduce differences, as was Reynold’s book I’m Here. This was a lovely collaboration between the author and illustrator, with wonderful educational activities. I am very impressed too, because Gerda uses her own struggles and triumphs as a Holocaust survivor, to tell this story. It makes it special to me.

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  2. As soon as I saw the words “Illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds” I thought “Okay, I like it.” As I read further, I was mightily impressed. This book sounds excellent. I’ll be telling Bev about it, for sure. Thanks, Pat!

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    • Beth, you would appreciate the story, as would Bev. I think you both would appreciate the backstory about the author and her struggles. Really added even more meaning to the book — a book about differences and finding your way in the world.

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  3. Even the synopsis moved me. I love visiting your blog, Patricia. it is full of inspiration and tenderness. I will share this post in celebration of our Autism Awareness campaign. Thank You.

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    • Thank you Niamh. I thought it a perfect book to end National Autism Awareness Month with on my blog. Such a beautiful story of hope and wonderful illustrations. A great collaboration between author and illustrator.

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      • This whole event has been such an eye-opened for many of us who are unaware of autism. I am so glad that we at Plum tree Books have participated in this event. And you have posted some of the loveliest, inspirational posts.

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      • Thank you Niamh for such a lovely comment. I am delighted Plum Tree Books gave such a voice to autism in April with so many real-life stories and book reviews. It has been an inspirational month. I’m glad my book reviews have added to your effort.

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    • Kirsten, it is a wonderful book! And, you can’t miss with Peter Reynold’s illustrations. His illustrations and cover add light to the story. Great symbolism in the story and illustrations.

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  4. Where do you keep finding books and books on autism and acceptance? I’m standing in awe of you. Thanks for adding this to our PPBF list. It is sure to be an important addition. 🙂 .

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    • Clar, it is an important addition. I do a lot of searching and try to find the latest releases. Many are being published, especially MG and YA. Harder to find PB on autism. I have to search.

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      • Clar, thank you for your kind comments. So many important books out there to let kids know that there is someone just like them, and that in many ways we are all different — and thatis a good thing.

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  5. wow! another great book and review Pat. Like someone said earlier you can’t go wrong with Peter Reynolds and his beautiful illustrations. They give such depth to any story. Sounds like a very moving story, thankyou, thankyou.

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  6. AHA! It’s Hope, I knew it! That’s what I immediately thought of when I saw the title (ehem ehem). 🙂 Thank you so much, Pat, for providing us with this valuable resource through the lovely picture books that you review. Always filled with both ‘hope’ and meaning.

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    • Myra,you are the first to see that EPOH stood for Hope. I saw it too. I’m happy you see this book as the valuable resource it is. Great book to help kids understand we are all different.

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  7. Thanks for another great book review! And I agree with some of the pevious sentiments…you provide a very valuable resource here.

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  8. Thank you so much, Pat…this sounds like a wonderful book for any parent to read with any child…and especially helpful for those who are dealing with autism-related issues. The resources are great…and we all thank you for explaining about EPOH. 🙂

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