January 17, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Benny Doesn’t Like To Be Hugged by Zetta Elliott | SLJ Review

Get the latest SLJ reviews every month, subscribe today and save up to 35%.

redstarELLIOTT, Zetta. Benny Doesn’t Like To Be Hugged. illus. by Purple Wong. 42p. websites. Rosetta Pr. Sept. 2017. pap. $10. ISBN 9781548184896.

Toddler-Gr 1 –With sweet, colorful illustrations and straightforward text, this book explores acceptance and understanding between two young friends. The titular character falls somewhere on the Autism spectrum, and while the story isn’t told from his perspective, readers learn bits and pieces about Benny from his unnamed friend. The characteristics of Benny’s Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)—like difficulty understanding joking tones, aversion to loud noises, and issues with sensory processing—define him just as much as his other personality traits: his love of trains, knowledge of everything about stars, and thoughtfulness as a friend. The much-needed message is one of loving others for what makes them unique. In a time when emphasis on social emotional learning is a growing focus in schools and childcare facilities, narratives that model and encourage empathy are increasingly important. Carefully and lovingly crafted by Elliott and Wong, this book includes a beautifully diverse cast of characters. The intentionality of this is noted in Elliott’s author’s note and is a welcome decision. The simple rhyming text, while imparting a lesson, is not overly didactic and a helpful list of websites directs parents and educators to useful resources. This could also be a conversation starter on the issue of consent. VERDICT There’s an audience of children ready for this title in every library and classroom. A first purchase, particularly for collections with little for or about children with ASD.–Abby Bussen, Muskego Public Library, WI

This review was published in the School Library Journal December 2017 issue.

Share
A Day-Long Celebration of Fandom-Beloved Stories and Characters
Join Library Journal and School Library Journal for our inaugural LibraryCon Live! We’re excited to offer this day-long virtual festival for book nerds, librarians, and fans of graphic novels, sci-fi, and fantasy. Network online with other fans and explore our virtual exhibit hall where you’ll hear directly from publishers about their newest books and engage in live chats with featured authors. You’ll also learn from librarians and industry insiders on how to plan and host your own Comic Con-style event.
Comment Policy:
  1. Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  2. Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  3. Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through (though some comments with links to multiple URLs are held for spam-check moderation by the system). If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.

We accept clean XHTML in comments, but don't overdo it and please limit the number of links submitted in your comment. For more info, see the full Terms of Use.

Speak Your Mind

*