All My Stripes depicts a day in the life of the young Zebra, Zane. Zane is autistic, and sometimes has difficulties in social settings. The book begins with him talking to his mother about how nobody in school understands him. From not quite understanding social cues, to having hypersensitivity to certain sounds, Zane feels very different from the rest of his classmates. Zane’s mother sits down with him and explains all the ways Zane is wonderful, and how his autism is only one small part of who he is.
The illustrations in the book are colorful, with a soft palette that is soothing, but is bound to keep a child’s attention as they ask questions about Zane’s interactions. The book’s message is simple, but has plenty of room for discussion – creating a great learning opportunity for kids.
While autistic children may relate to Zane, the book is also a great tool for children without the disorder to lean about autism, and the struggles autistic kids have on a daily basis. This is a wonderful children’s book that is geared towards parents as well. At the end of the book is a short informational section that breaks down the autistic symptoms experienced by Zane in the story, and how children on different parts of the spectrum may react in real life. There is also a section listing different signs of autism by age group, followed by suggestions and resources for parents who are looking for guidance and help with their own autistic children.
A wonderful tool to help create understanding and compassion in young children for those who are on the autism spectrum, All My Stripes is a book that belongs on the shelves of every parent and educator.
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