Davene Fahy, Author
Carol Inouye, Illustrator
Sky Pony Press, September 2012
Suitable for Ages: 5 and up
Themes: Asperger’s Syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Friendship, Abilities
Opening: My next door friend is Anthony. If you ask Anthony his name, he always says, “My name is Anthony Best and I am the best..” But do you want to know a secret? He’s not always the best boy.
Synopsis: Hannah narrates the story about her friend, Anthony, who screams when he hears loud noises, crosses streets without looking for cars, and throws sand at kids in the sandbox. But, Hannah likes to play with Anthony, even when he wants to play by himself. When Anthony spins, Hannah spins. When he’s in a flipping mood, Hannah flips her pages. Hannah knows that makes Anthony happy. She also teaches Anthony how to play with other kids. One day a big delivery truck pulls up in front of Anthony’s house. The next day Hannah hears beautiful music floating out the window and follows the sound. She is very surprised when she discovers Anthony’s hidden talent.
Why I like this book: Davene Fahy may show all the things that makes Anthony different from other children, but she also shows how those differences makes him special. This is a nice story that teaches children about their autistic friends and why they act the way they do. I especially like how Fahy has Hannah following Anthony into his world so that she can better understand her best friend. Carol Inouye’s illustrations are colorful, and expressive. You may want to visit Davene Fahy at her website.
Resources: There is back matter at the end with suggested resources. But the ending of the book is a great way to start discussions with children about differences and special abilities.
Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Books.