What’s it about?
I Hear a Red Crayon is a true story about a young child growing up as the only sibling of an older brother with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
-From the Netgalley Synopsis
My Review of I Hear a Red Crayon
I Hear a Red Crayon left me with conflicted feelings. I’d actually just read a post on autism representation and the real life consequences of it from Disability in Kidlit (click here to read it for yourself) as part of trying to grow my own understanding of representation of disabilities in literature so that when I review a book with a character that is disabled, I can do it properly.
The reason I Hear a Red Crayon left me with conflicted feelings is, I think, because not only does there not seem to be an age range that this book is intended for, but it doesn’t really give new information that people can’t glean from other basic resources. The literalness, the (lightly mentioned) stimming, the awkwardness in social situations… there’s no explanation that leads to a deeper understanding. There’s no mention of lasting consequences from anything. Its just ‘this happens. next.’
The blurb said it was a book that appealed to people who knew a child with ASD, but I don’t see how it can, on anything other than the “Yay! Another book drawing attention to autism” level. Its basically all about the sister, and her issues with growing up with a brother with autism. I mean yes, she does talk about him, and its obvious she loves him, but its pretty standard fare, isn’t it? “Look at what I’ve went through. I love him.”
I could be wrong. Maybe this book is meant for a much younger age than what I think, and its meant to serve as a very basic introduction to having a family member with autism. If that’s the case though, that needs to be made much more clear. Even if I were going to recommend this book, I don’t know who I’d recommend it to.
Side note: Some of the foreword didn’t make sense. “There are no epiphanies in science”? Uhm, pretty sure there have been a few of them, if you look at the dictionary definition for the word. Also, the doctor says in the foreword “I visibly portray the neural underpinnings of autism and I have achieved success with this work.” How? He didn’t write it. It just seems very self-bragging and off-putting.
Finally, there are some errors in the text (punctuation, extra words), etc, that need to be addressed.
Overall, I can’t say I was impressed with this book, nor would I recommend it. Again, I might be wrong in this as I have no siblings or family members with (diagnosed) autism, but this is my take for what its worth.
Title: I Hear a Red Crayon | Author: Bonnie Feuer | Publisher: IBPA (site) | Pub. Date: 2015-10-15 | Pages: 40 | Genre: Children’s Nonfiction | Language: English | Triggers: None | Rating: 3 out of 5 | Date Read: 2015-12-28 | Source: Received a copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.