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Friends Learn about Tobin by Diane Murrell

Friends Learn about Tobin

by Diane Murrell

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Despite the plain appearance of this book, I think it is great in terms of teaching kids more about children with autism. It is a sequel to the book Tobin Learns to Make Friends and teaches children about friendship and social skills. It depicts some of Tobin’s differences, both positive and negative, that can be difficult for parents or teachers to explain to children such as discomfort with change, repetitive behavior, a knack for numbers, photographic memory, literal interpretation of words, and sensitivity to noise and crowds. As the book goes through each of these very real scenarios, it also shows Tobin’s friends helping him or explaining his differences to others on his behalf. It even gives suggestions for things that could be done in the future, having a character say, “Maybe next time I could…” This teaches children the right way to handle situations in which a child with autism is having difficulty or could use his or her strengths to help others. The one thing that I dislike about this book is that some pages have too many words on them. The book is simple and linear for the most part with black words and small drawings on each page. However, I think that some of the pages could seem overwhelming to a beginning reader who would really benefit from the content. I believe that the beginning and end of the book can sum up the central message of this story. It begins by saying, “Some things are hard for Tobin, some things are easier. That’s true for everyone.” Then, the story comes full circle and ends by saying, “We are all trains!” This book teaches children that everyone has things that they are good and bad at, and deep down, we are all the same. ( )
  kfield9 | Apr 26, 2014 |
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In this book, Dr. Brookfield offers valuable advice to teachers, both new and veterans, who grapple daily with challenges, thrills, and failures in the often chaotic environment of the classroom.

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