Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Mercy Watson

Kate DiCamillo long since conquered children’s publishing with a Newbery, Boston Horn Book Award, and as a National Book Award finalist. 
Two films based on her books didn’t hurt her reputation any
(though I thought the animated Tale of Desperaux ill-advised to jettison most of the original story).
But the books which most appeal to my family are her starter chapter picture books starring the “porcine wonder,” 
Mercy Watson (Theodore Geisel award). 
Mr. and Mrs. Watson as depicted by illustrator van Dusen 
are rather round and pink themselves, so perhaps their adoption of a pig as surrogate daughter should
not surprise us.
Mercy’s immense fondness for buttered toast and willingness to sleep tucked up in a child’s bed may puzzle adults, 
but children rarely worry about such trifles,
focusing instead on Mercy's attempts to drive a car 
and capture a thief (among other exploits).
Again, the series format allows kids a chance to get familiar with the characters,
who include not only the Watsons, but their neighbors, 
the elderly Lincoln sisters (Eugenia and Baby, who both embody and defy older women in kids' stories stereotypes),
and various bit players like Officer Tomallelo.
I've mentioned Mercy before, as a librarian pick, and
if you're interested in finding other good choices for elementary readers, you may want to visit that blog 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Hiatus Again

On hiatus again because of life events.
Please sign up for autism reads on twitter or
facebook to be notified of new postings.
In the meantime, please enjoy my past
200 plus postings.

Thank you,
Spectrum Mom

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Summer Reading 2 - The Outsiders

Back again after a summer break - Nashville's insane school schedule means my son handed in his book reports Monday. Unlike his typically developing peers, he spent almost every day during his short summer laboring to read these books.
Then came the painful process of sitting down with him and trying to cue him in to remember some of what he read and prompt him on what he might write in response.
(btw Pardon the blah look of this post, I'll try to add a photo later, and quotes from his reports. For now, bare bones to get me back into writing myself)
His second book of the summer was The Outsiders.
I know very little about his relationship to this one, except that
it took the entire month of July for him to read the book, with
the patient help of his dad.
The Outsiders is about the greasers and the socs, and a neighbor
of ours remembered that divide and described it vividly to my
son. I don't think he heard.
In the book, the tension between the two groups leads to violence
and death. The lead character, Ponyboy, survives to tell the tale.