From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 2—Twins Callie and Charlie have a lot in common, but they are also very different: Charlie has autism. Callie narrates the story, describing what autism is and exploring the issues that come along with it. The theme is of love, patience, and acceptance. Endnotes give a few basic facts for children unfamiliar with the disorder. The authors, a mother-daughter team, based this story on personal experience. Evans's bright, mixed-media illustrations skillfully depict the family's warmth and concern. Pair this with Ouisie Shapiro's Autism and Me: Sibling Stories
(Albert Whitman, 2009) to raise awareness and understanding of autism. This title should have a place in most library collections.—Laura Butler, Mount Laurel Library, NJ
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In an honest, simple narrative, young Callie talks about how much she loves her autistic twin brother, Charlie, and how much they share. As she explains what autism is and how her family cares for Charlie, she also speaks frankly about challenges. The mixed-media illustrations, in bright, opaque colors, show the loving connections in Callie’s African American family, as well as the tension and anger. Charlie does so many things well: he plays the piano, for example. Sometimes he supports his sister, and he has an incredible bond with their dog. Still, “there are days when it’s hard to be Charlie’s sister. . . . Sometimes he can ruin the best playdates; other times he won’t speak.” Warm but never sentimental, this welcome picture book is based on the mother-and-daughter authors' experiences, and a beautiful photo of the authors’ family appears on the back cover, while a personal concluding note offers more facts. A great choice for introducing the subject of autism to young children or for starting discussion in any family dealing with disability. Grades K-3. --Hazel Rochman