Reviews on Manners Matters: Temple Talks to Kids Series

My reviews: 

When I first began reading and reviewing books for Future Horizons, I had a chance to skim through all the current choices available to read and review.   One of those selections was a new book called Manners Matter: Temple Talks to Children, which is a part of the Temple Talks series for children by Veronica Zysk.  Being that I have enjoyed works by Temple herself, I was intrigued. I was captured by the colorful animated cover with the children and the wonderful title in big red letters. I got the idea that the little girl on the top of title perhaps represents Temple as a little girl.

T525-Manners_Matter Upon reading, I was captured by the cleverness and inspiration that went into making this book. One such example includes the animated versions of Temple Grandin during two different stages of her life, she can be either been seen as a little girl or a young adult.  While most of the animated illustrations mainly show children learning examples from their parents, others have drawings of Grandin as a little girl learning manners. There are drawings of Temple participating in hobbies during her childhood and talking about it afterward. Other parts show examples of stories she has shared during her talks regarding bad manners while she gives notes in between. One such case has a drawing of young Temple licking chocolate ice cream out of a bowl like a dog in order to show kids that bad manners can cause other kids to get the wrong impression and not want to be friends. If anyone has ever heard Temple speak, she talks about eating chocolate ice cream out of a bowl with her mouth and having her teacher take the bowl away, telling her to use her spoon and that she’s not a dog (this is one of my favorite stories and I laugh every time she tells it). The young adult version of Temple introduces herself in a friendly manner that children can understand by describing her features: that she likes to wear western attire and struggles with autism. Manners Matter shares a brief introduction to who Dr. Grandin is by talking about where she grew up and how she had lived a self-fulfilling life. She is willing to help children learn the same basics that she did.

Other parts of the book emphasize children understanding certain boundaries such as one little boy who is learning to be considerate by not insulting someone’s appearances at a grocery store. It also shows that he has learned to develop empathy for other people, which is a common stereotype among people with autism.  In this case, it shows that someone with ASD can learn anything.

The book offers a second part which is specifically for family members, educators, and community members. While the first part is dedicated to children, this is directed towards adults who help their children grow.  This part provides essential information from Zysk and Dr. Grandin that gives better insight into how one can teach social skills to the young individuals on the autism spectrum. One such example includes an understanding that manners are rules and that they can be taught in baby steps, one at a time.

There are things about the book that I would have loved to be seen differently.  The first is that the introduction to where Grandin grew up was inaccurate.  The reason why I bring that up is that people on the spectrum pay very close attention to detail and like to know every realistic fact possible.  I feel that having accurate information about Temple will help people learn about the area where she is really from. The other part that I would have loved to have seen is how Grandin always emphasizes to be direct but gentle when correcting behavior.  Finally, it would be nice if the book gave some input on body language for children and what’s considered appropriate versus not.

In conclusion, I found this book to be both helpful and humorous.  Though this is a good book for ASD individuals, I feel that all children could benefit from the content published in this book whether they’re on the spectrum or not. I enjoyed seeing animated ideas of what Temple would have looked like and dressed like as a little girl.  The creators of Manners Matter were able to capture young Temple, who is a real figure and teaches social skills.  Further, I felt that the message for parents will be useful while reading this book to their children.

 

Zysyke, V. & Grandin, T. (2018). Manners Matter: Temple Grandin Talks to Kids.”  Arlington, TX.  Future Horizon’s Incorporated.

(Photo).  (2018). Manners Matters: Temple Grandin Talks Book Cover. Photo Source.

https://www.fhautism.com/shop/manners-matter-temple-grandin-talks-to-kids/

 

 

Reviews: It’s Just a What?: Little Sensory Issues with Big Reactions

Recently, I had a chance to read Hartley Steiner’s new children’s book, It’s Just a What? Little Sensory Issues with Big Reactions, which had many vibrant watercolor paintings of distinctive children on the spectrum with some sort of sensory processing disorder. Sensory processing disorder, or SPD, can cause frustration and stress.  Steiner uses the “a picture says a thousand words” strategy by arranging each painting with as few words as possible, only using the dialogue by each character while the paintings tell the story. She shows that every child has a creative imagination about what sensory processing disorder is like for them, all the while showing the extremely creative and often humorous imagination of a child through the images. The book demonstrates  a solution to solving problems and reduce sensory issues to the adults interacting with the children. Take, for instance, the first little boy who describes his discomfort of a tag on his t-shirt as feeling like he’s being hugged by a porcupine. During the interval, his mother steps in and cuts the tag out of the shirt to relieve the boy of discomfort.

It's just a what

My reviews

In many ways, I enjoyed this book for its awareness of sensory issues, artistic structure, and talent.  Moreover, it gave me a broader idea of how everyday ordinary items,  such as a tag on a shirt, can cause can cause misery to the point of torture to some people. I really applaud that they showed each adult taking the time to listen to each child while they described what their situations were, and appeared to respond to their needs rather than ignore them.

On the contrary,  while finding this book will be beneficial, I feel that she could expand on different types of issues related to sensory processing disorders and autism.   For example,  this book talks about sensory processing disorder only coming in the form of objects that touch the child’s skin, while failing to show illustrations related to getting a hug or touching their shoulders.  I really feel that this would have been helpful for the eyes of young readers who are just learning about autism and sensory processing disorders. Steiner also left out other sensory issues, such as sound or visual. For example, I don’t like the sound of a fire alarm system. Though some would argue that “it’s just a fire alarm,”  to me the sound is so grating that it hurts my body, like sandpaper scratching on a scab.

In spite of those missing elements from Steiner’s work,  I  am attached to this children’s book because of the education and creativity that it brings. I feel that it needs to be in the home of every family, whether their child has autism and sensory processing disorders or not.  Furthermore, it should be in every library,  place of worship, and public school in order for a child’s peers to know exactly what to expect. Teachers, parents, adults, and professional adults should also take to reading this book. Why? I found that this book will help lay the groundwork for people to understand how some on the spectrum think and learn: visually, by drawing pictures and diagrams. Being that I am somewhat of a visual thinker, this book was able to give me the message of what sensory processing disorder entails.

 

 

References:

Semisirdyzhyda, A. (2018, 8).  [book cover] It’s Just a What?: Little Sensory Issues with Big Reactions.  Arlington, TX.  Future Horizons Incorporated.

Steiner, H. (2018, 08). It’s Just A What?: Little Sensory Issues with Big Reactions.  Arlinton, TX.  Future Horizon’s Books. Future Horizons Incorporated.