Talking Is Not My Thing

Eerdmans. Sept. 2020. 32p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780802855497.
K-Gr 2–A brother and sister manage to communicate despite the fact that she never speaks. Yellow animal characters with pointy ears—not quite dogs, not quite cats—have a wonderful rapport based on her thought bubbles and his intuitive understanding of her wishes and acquiescence. They experience situations and emotions common to young children; she lets others know what she’s thinking and feeling through drawings, flash cards, and actions. Cartoon illustrations with flat perspective and blocks of color work well to portray familiar activities such as eating supper, watching TV, and reading a story. The drama comes in the common bedtime dilemma of searching for a “lost” stuffed animal. The sister’s distress at dinner noises and preference for routine hint at her possible place on the autism spectrum, while her solid relationship with her brother includes the ability to share a joke. For more on his perspective, consider Robbins’s companion volume, Me and My Sister.
VERDICT This matter-of-fact depiction of siblings with different ways of communicating and interacting with the world will encourage acceptance and understanding. A fine choice for most collections.

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