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.

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.

27 thoughts on “Stuttering Stan Takes a Stand – Stuttering Awareness Week May 12-18

  1. I love that you have a book to give away this week and I know it will go to just the right family! I think it is a great idea to anthropomorphize this topic, and I love the expressions of the two critters on the front cover. Great to see a book on stuttering, Pat.

    • Joanna, I discovered this book last summer and have saved it for the upcoming week. Read a review in Huffington Post, I believe. Yes, I think it is a great idea to anthropomorphize this subject. It helps kids identify in a different way.

  2. You always pick books on such important and relevant topics, Pat. I love that you’re adding this one to our list – the first one we have that addresses stuttering. Thanks for the great addition. (And the video reminded me of The King’s Speech, which I really loved.)

    • Thank you Susanna. There are few picture books on the subject. And, it is such a huge problem for kids. This is the second year I’ve highlighted Stuttering Awareness Week and the work of the Stuttering Foundation. I was glad there were videos to show — what a brave little girl!

  3. I know this has nothing to do with a children’s book, but have you seen the King’s Speech? It’s rated-R because of the cursing that the King does while he’s trying to overcome his stuttering. But I absolutely loved Colin Firth in the role. And it really made me aware of how horrible a speech impediment can be.

    • Michael, I have seen the King’s Speech several time. That movie alone brought stutteing into the open. And, Colin Firth was the honorary chairman for the National Stuttering Foundation last year. You wouldn’t believe how many celebrities and politicians stuttered.

  4. I have never seen a book address the issue of stuttering, and I agree that it (and other speech impediments) are an important topic. I had a fairly strong lisp as a child and I remember how embarrassed I would sometimes get. Excellent choice!

    • Julie, thank you. This is only the second picture book I’ve found on the subject. It is in fact one of my 12×12 PB ideas I’ve been working on. My husband stuttered as a child, but is a minister and you’d never know it. It must have been hard having a lisp as a child. Glad you liked the book.

  5. Patricia, I don’t know where you find out about all these wonderful, supportive books, but you are a marvel. Thanks for providing such a wonderful resource for parents, teachers and children.

    • Kirsten, I am always looking and searching. I’ve learned a lot from my blog, how few books have been written on certain topics. I hope someone knows of a child I could give an extra copy of this book to. Thank you, you are kind.

  6. I haven’t ever seen a book on stuttering, either. So glad to have this book in my arsenal. While I don’t personally have experience with stuttering, I can imagine that there are parents looking for a book like this one that can help them navigate the issue. Thanks, Pat!

    • Amy, I’m glad you liked the selection. There need to be more books for kids. But, the Stuttering Foundation has a lots of resources, support groups and connections for kids who stutter. That’s why I mention them. Thanks for stopping.

  7. This seems like a good book. The cover illustration look cartoony and that raccoon looks mean (with the eye-patch). The video is really good. I can see where stuttering can be a problem for some people. It is good to know there is a book about it!

    • Erik, it is a good book. There person who commented after has the book and gave me a link to an online flash anaimation version. I hadn’t seen it. But, I’m glad you viewed the video of the young girl as it gives you a good idea how hard it is and how strong she is.

  8. Another great cause Patricia. I cannot imagine how painful this must be for any child. It must certainly breed strength of character for a child to overcome this.

    • Thanks Niamh! It’s a good cause and I’ve focused on it two years now. What surprises me is how many kids stutter, and boys outnumber the girls. The teasing they endure is tough, but many children learn to overcome it through therapy. My husband stuttered until age 11-12. He’s a minister and has a gift for speaking. I was so surprised at how many celebrities stutter.

    • Mimi, thanks for sharing that! And, look at what you accomplished. Have given your name and blogsite to a friend who writes for Southern Writers Magazine. She’s always looking for southern authors. Hope you hear from her.

  9. Oh Pat, I love everything about this book. My ten year old daughter has a classmate who stutters – her first language is not English (she’s Korean) and she really has struggles with making friends and in communicating. It breaks my heart each time I see how hard she tries and how awkward she feels. My daughter, sensitive and empathetic soul that she is, tries as much as she can, but like most things she forgets as she gets absorbed with all the other things that children preoccupy themselves with – but she does feel for her classmate and tries to include her in as much activities as she could. I would try to find this book and share this with her.

    • Myra, I’m glad the book touched you and that you know of someone who might benefit. I am amazed at how few books are available for children who stutter. But, there is a wonderful Stuttering Foundation. You might check at home, because through therapy children can learn tools to deal with their stuttering. Sounds like your daughter is a lot like you!

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