French Fries in the Park gets another great review! This just in from Writer's Digest 12/19/2019. They felt the meter was a little off, but otherwise gave it a thumbs up!
“French Fries in the Park” shares a touching story of two children who meet in the park. They enjoy the shared space while with their dads. Many children’s books do not cover characters with differences, including autism.
However, “French Fries in the Park” centers Tommy, a main character with autism. The endearing book helps readers understand the disability, and how children with autism respond to people and their environment. Written in easy-to-read rhyme, the book fosters respect of differences, while celebrating children’s common interests, such as playing on playground equipment, and their love of certain foods, like French fries. It also addresses misconceptions. About Tommy’s hand waving his dad encourages, “Don’t be afraid…He’s just excited,” then explains, “Hand waving is called stimming. It helps him control his emotions inside.”
Characterization is done well. Brianna is inquisitive and friendly, interested in learning more about Tommy and asks questions that Tommy’s dad answers in an age-appropriate manner. His approach and responses model those educators and other concerned adults can use as discussion starters with readers. Tommy is curious and engaged in play. The book’s meter is not effective at times and could be improved. However, it does not diminish the book’s overall importance and usefulness.
Judge, 27th Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards.
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