all my stripes : a story for children with autism by shaina rudolph and danielle royer

today’s book selection is a text from the american psychological association‘s magination press: all my stripes: a story for children with autism (2015) by shaina rudolph and danielle royer and illustrated by jennifer zivoin.

i’ve become interested in how psychological disorders and physical illnesses are presented in children’s books, so i was excited to read all my stripes this weekend.

i enjoyed how this book gives children with autism a voice, not just by being a book about autism but by allowing the child with autism, zane the zebra, to have a large speaking role within the text.  i applaud authors rudolph and royer for this decision.  through zane’s comments about his frustrating day at school, readers learn about autism from a child with autism.

the book is incredibly explicit, detailing particular challenges a child with autism might experience, such as not being able to communicate effectively with peers or having difficulty with figurative language.  whereas i might criticize the explicitness in a book about a different topic, the explicitness seems necessary provided the subject matter.

professionals and parents will have to decide whether this text would be beneficial to a child with autism in their lives. as the reading guide in the back of the text suggests, zane’s case would be characterized as ‘mild,’ and i think this is important to consider when considering this text for a particular child.  although the book’s subtitle is a story for children with autism, i think this text would also be a wonderful read-aloud in homes or classrooms where friends, classmates, or siblings have been diagnosed with autism.

parents and other caregivers of children with autism might also enjoy the reading guide and note in the back of the book.

let me know what you think of all my stripes in the comments below!

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