This is my review of David and Amy Fox’s children’s book The Adventures of Pop Fantastic and his Autistic Superpower. You can check out the book here. Would you like me to write a review of your next book and/or product for my website to promote to our 150,000 monthly readers? Contact me here for more details!
A common symbol we see in our autism community is the Superman logo. When I was diagnosed with autism at 4, this wasn’t the case. The only thing I would see an emphasis on was a ‘cure’ for autism; not superheroes. 28 years later as an adult we’ve certainly come a long way.
When I just started to become an autism advocate at 18 I was very curious at to the connection it had. As I would speak with more and more self-advocates over the years a common theme I saw was that most considered their autism as a ‘superpower.’ This became a huge realization to me in the world of understanding autism.
In the book of The Adventures of Pop Fantastic and his Autistic Superpowers, you get a glimpse into the life of Pop, a 7-year-old who is autistic. Throughout the story (without giving a way too many spoilers) you see Pop on an adventure of a lifetime where he learns that, like autism self-advocate Dr. Temple Grandin says that he is ‘Different and not less.”
These were some of the highlights of the book that would make me recommend that you give it a read…
Nurturing strengths – While some children’s books gloss over different autistic traits, Pop’s traits (challenges with loud noises, flapping, etc.) are at the center of the story. Often in our schools there is an emphasis on the ‘deficit model’ where it feels like we focus 99.9% of the time on what our kids can’t do. In this story David and Amy change the narrative by focusing on what Pop and other autistic people CAN do. Autism is a very wide spectrum but seeing this perspective was very refreshing.
If you are curious to learn about some self-advocates who are embracing this I’d recommend researching Dr. Stephen Shore, Dr. John Elder Robison, Dr. Temple Grandin, Amy Gravino among others!
Strong narrative – Kids of all ages will be transported into an adventure tale that is committed towards entertainment as much as education. I see Pop becoming a role model for others. You can listen to an audio clip from the book below…
Friendships – While we work on our loved ones challenges a topic that goes under the radar at times is social skills. Seeing Pop being able to find connections in the story shows that those with autism don’t lack empathy and for many just want to connect just like anyone else.
School worksheets – As an added bonus – this is one of the first children’s books I’ve read that also offers school worksheets at their website here. When I give book readings in schools, it’s sometimes challenging to find a way to keep the kids truly engaged throughout. I applaud the Pop team (with additional kudos to the talented Merve Terzi who illustrated the book) for this.
Growing up with autism, my parents weren’t aware of any children’s books out there that focused on autism. Today with autism being the fastest growing developmental disability in the country we have many more books representing the spectrum of autism. With that I’d strongly recommend this book to children and family members who want to learn more about how to truly embrace the autism community. This is the first book of six in the series that they’ve released so I’ll be patiently waiting to see what they have in store next. – Dr. Kerry Magro
Please check out this amazing book here.