Isaac and His Amazing Asperger Superpowers! by M. Walsh
Walsh, Melanie. Isaac and His Amazing Asperger Superpowers! Candlewick Press, 2016.
This picture book is designed to help children better understand children who are on the Asperger’s/autism spectrum. Isaac, like many children with Asperger’s Syndrome, has symptoms that include needing to fidget, sensitivity to sound, exceptional memory for certain kinds of facts, and lack of verbal filters. Instead of making these as negative attributes, Melanie Walsh has used the “superhero” concept as a vehicle for their positive presentation. Telling the story in the first person allows Isaac to directly describe for the reader what his life is like. This allows readers to empathize more easily. For example, he says: “Because I’m a superhero, I have lots of things to think about. I try to remember to be friendly and say hello to people I know, but sometimes I forget. I’m not being rude.” The artwork is brightly coloured. The images are simple and easy to understand, so it does not distract from the story.
This would be a good book to read out loud and discuss in a class where there is a child with Asperger’s. While it may not exactly represent all children with Asperger’s, it is a good generalization and will help other children be more accepting of others who have these “superhero” behaviours.
Highly Recommended: 4 stars out of 4
Reviewer: Sean Borle
Sean Borle is a University of Alberta undergraduate student who is an advocate for child health and safety.
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