I was bred to be a Guide Dog for a Blind person, but that was not meant to be. Instead I became a special friend to young people with special needs. I spend much of my time at school helping these little folks adjust to a world that is sometimes harsh and misunderstanding. For kids with autism and down’s syndrome and other disabilities, I become a bridge to a more comfortable day at school. If they can hold on to me, school doesn’t seem such a scary place. If they can walk me down the hall, other kids are impressed and want to talk to them. If they can hold my leash or brush, they can learn to hold and use a spoon or a pencil. If they can laugh, the world is good.
We have a special Fiction Picture Book that is all about being different and trying to fit in.
Percy Learns to Fly was written by Patricia Schetter, a Behavior Analyst and Autism Specialist.
It is illustrated by my special friend Mary Livingston.
It was published in 2013 by ABTA Products and Publications. (Autism and Behavior Training Associates)
Percy Learns to Fly just recently won the Gelett Burgess Children’s Book Award. For more about this award check HERE.
Themes – Being different, penguins, motivation and inspiration
From the book – “Everyone can see Percy is different. He tries hard to fit in with his friends and do well in school.”
“The families of Gull Island were excited as their eggs began hatching. The Hatcher family was the most excited because this was their first chick.”
Percy Learns to Fly is kind of an Ugly Duckling tale. The birds on Gull Island are sea gulls; graceful flyers of the sea. Percy does not look like all the other chicks. He’s big and gawky and doesn’t sound like all the others. As all the chicks grow bigger, they develop long wings with fluffy light feathers. Percy’s wings are short and stubby and sleek. His parents know that he’s different from the other chicks, but they are non-the-less proud of him and love him. When all the chicks started school, everyone made fun of Percy because he couldn’t do things like they did. They told him he was “hatched from the wrong egg.” But his mom told him that “God made each of us in a different way so we can do what we are called to do in life.”
And that’s what Percy found to be true. When it came time for all the chicks to fly, Percy just couldn’t fly like all the others. But he soon found that he COULD fly — in the water! Then everyone cheered him for his differences.
This is a great little book for talking about finding your special talents. It’s a good motivational tale of overcoming difficulties. Percy is an inspiration!
I hope that you will check out Percy Learns to Fly and see for yourself. There is a great list of resources in the back of the book for parents and teachers.
You can find out more about Mary Livingston at her blog, The Backdoor Artist.
For more information about autism visit Autism Speaks.
The California Academy of Science has a live penguin cam where you can watch penguins “flying” underwater. Check it out HERE.
And here are some funny penguins made from water bottles
Click on the picture to visit a Pinterest board that is chock full of all things penguin.
Since today is Perfect Picture Book Friday, you might want to visit Susanna Hill’s blog for more Perfect Picture Books and lists of resources.
Spread your wings and FLY!