Roar Brave and Strong
© Hazel Reeves 2011
What autism professionals have said about Roar
The leading organisation in the UK for special needs information
These three delightful picture books feature the adventures and qualities of a little dinosaur called Roar. Roar loves to do things that children with Asperger syndrome or high functioning autism like to do, such as sorting things and ordering things, playing games repeatedly, having favourite foods, collecting things, taking a break to hide away when overwhelmed, seeing fine details that others miss, liking routines and so on.
All of these habits are presented in a warm, loving way that is affirming for children like Roar to read about. Each book is written in verse, with the main text on the left-hand page and the illustration on the right-hand page, along with a verse for the child to join in with if she/he wishes.
At the bottom of each left-hand page is an intriguing little detail reproduced from the larger illustration, for the child to enjoy spotting. At the end of each book Roar goes happily to bed and a member of the family sings a song to remind Roar that she is unique, celebrated and loved.
There is nothing apologetic in these little books – they highlight the great qualities of children with autism – and they will be an asset to any parent, grandparent or teacher who wants to assure a child that he or she is okay just exactly as they are.
Review by Mary Kelly, primary school SENCO
Professor Tony Attwood
Clinical Psychologist and best selling author on Asperger Syndrome
Children who have an Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC) can feel very lonely. They may seek in vain another child who understands and resonates with his or her way of perceiving the world and shares the same adventures and sensations. The behaviour, interests and abilities associated with ASC are often perceived by adults as signs of pathology and by other children as signs of being weird, yet many of these characteristics help the child with an ASC make sense of the world and actually enjoy the world. Roar the little dinosaur has so many characteristics that the child with an ASC can identify with, and at last, discover someone who is like me. Roar is the friend that children with an ASC seek. Roar is also optimistic, interesting and good fun how the child would like to be perceived by his or her peers.
I highly recommend the Roar books to improve the self-esteem of children with an ASC but also to encourage teachers, parents and peers to perceive and appreciate the endearing qualities of a child with ASC. Perhaps other children could consider it is ‘cool’ to have autism and that you could have fun together and become friends.
Special Needs Book Review, Canada
I highly recommend Roar the Little Dinosaur series to improve the self-esteem of children with autism or Asperger syndrome. The books will also help siblings, classmates and teachers to appreciate the strengths of the child with autism or Asperger syndrome. The message learned is that being different or unique should be a cause for celebration! Roar has many characteristics that the child with an ASD can identify with. I can see the young fans of the Roar books will eagerly be awaiting the next set of books. Read more…
National Education Facilitator
Autism South Africa
They are beautiful! Beautifully written and beautifully illustrated, I see a lot of thought went into their creation. I loved how Roar’s interests, pass-times and quirks are celebrated, and I especially love how the reader is given a glimpse into Roar’s own appreciation of these things through her words on each right hand page.
From the perspective of an educator, the Roar books present many opportunity for the teaching of vocab, number, visual perceptual and creative skills. For our kids with Autism they also give beautiful insight into just how much daddy, mommy and brother love them. The little songs at the end are so moving.
I can certainly see their potential appeal and value to children on the Autism spectrum.
Thanks so much for sharing them with me!
Books that are educational on so many levels. Roar is a lovable character to whom I am sure many children with Autism will be able to relate.
Editor, National Autistic Society
This is the first in a series of three delightfully-illustrated children books, designed to be read with younger children. Roar is an upbeat, happy-go-lucky little dinosaur, who likes to sing, to count and sort, to line things up and sees things in detail. She has a great imagination and likes to ask lots of questions. At night, things have to be done in the ‘right’ way so she can sleep happily through the night. Informed by the author’s experiences with her youngest daughter who has autism, the books celebrate the strengths of children with autism or Asperger syndrome and aims to boost
children’s self-esteem, as they recognise attributes they share with Roar being celebrated, rather than being seen as problematic. The second and third books in the series, Roar’s Creating and Let’s Explore, further investigate Roar’s creativity and delight in learning and exploring. All three books would also help other family members, classmates
and teachers to appreciate the strengths of the child with autism or Asperger syndrome and, as such, these would make a great addition to any home or primary school library.
Roar Brave and Strong
© Hazel Reeves 2011