When we returned home from spring break, I had an email inviting me to read a complimentary copy of Holly Robinson Peete's new book "My Brother Charlie", co-written with her daughter Ryan Peete. I am excited for the opportunity to review it here!
The books tells about Charlie, a boy with autism, from the perspective of his twin sister, Callie.
Before I even had a chance to read it, Little Bitty was drawn to the cute illustration on the cover and started flipping through it himself.
We sat down and read it together. I'm not sure if he totally understood it all, but he read some of the words with me. His favorite part is the heart puzzle :). The puzzle is featured twice in the story, but Bitty especially likes the last page, where Callie is helping Charlie finish it.
As for me, I found the book very uplifting. The love that went into writing it shines through. It explains autism in simple, easy-to-understand terms:
"...Mommy discovered that Charlie's brain works in a special way, because Charlie has autism. It's harder for Charlie to make friends. Or show his feelings. Or stay safe."
It's a sweet story that is honest about the challenges, while highlighting the blessings and focusing on Charlie as an individual. Most of all, it is a story about love, acceptance, and appreciating the unique gifts that all of us have. I had to smile at the part about Charlie knowing all the U.S. presidents. Remember this? :)
This book is a great way to introduce children (and adults!) to autism and help foster understanding and acceptance.
"If you ever get to meet my brother, you'll feel lucky to be his friend. He won't care if you have the coolest sneakers, or if you are the best at sports. He'll just like you for who you really are. That's Charlie."
More information / resources:
Click here for an interview with Holly Robinson Peete where she shares her family's story, perspective on autism, and what inspired them to write "My Brother Charlie."
Visit HollyRod4Kids, a not-for-profit that the Peetes started to help children with autism and their families.
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