Percy Learns to Fly

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.

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We have a special Fiction Picture Book that is all about being different and trying to fit in.

IMG_4144Percy 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.”

IMG_4146And 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.

penguinsAnd 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!
Rhythm

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Going Traveling

I’ve been in a traveling mood. We do some traveling most every day. Going to the Big City. But I know all those routes and I’m ready for some adventure.

We have a couple of books in our home library that are about animals on adventures. I’ve been pawing through these books and daydreaming. Wondering why my Mom Person isn’t more adventurous.

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buns travels

Buns Travels Across America is about a rabbit who travels to a whole bunch of fun places all across America. A rabbit! The book was done by David Love and his rabbit, Cottonpaw. It was published by Cotton Tale Press in 1992. It’s got some great pictures of Buns the rabbit at the Statue of Liberty and Niagra Falls and the Grand Canyon and the Alamo and the beach! Even in Hollywood! (I’ve been to Hollywood!  – in Glen Rose, Tx) —IMG_2253  But I haven’t been to the REAL Hollywood! That Buns is one lucky rabbit! And this is a pretty good book. Besides all the nice pictures of a cute rabbit, each picture is accompanied by a little history lesson. A fun way to learn some good stuff! And Buns has a website the you might want to visit here to learn more about him and his travels.

joe and sallyJoe and Sally : A Long Way From Home is a book about penguins who travel all over the world! But these aren’t real penguins. They’re like great big toy penguins. Now isn’t that funny! This book is the creation of Willy Puchner. It was published by Penguin Books (where else?!) in 1993.

Mr Puchner found Joe and Sally in a craft shop in Vienna. For 3 years they traveled together all over the world. Joe and Sally sometimes traveled in a box with lots of padding. They sometimes traveled by car or in a backpack. They always had 2 people to carry them around. This is a really comical book because Joe and Sally really look like 2 tourists admiring the sights. Joe even has a camera around his neck! A word of warning though, there are a couple of pages of rather risque photos from their visit to Paris, so I don’t think the book is appropriate for kids. There are pictures of the penguins at various beaches around the world. They visit Thailand and Egypt, where they are pictured with the pyramids and the Sphinx. They visit London, and Paris, and New York, Italy and Germany, but not Hollywood. It is a fun travelogue and I can imagine that the people who helped Joe and Sally enjoy their travels had a very good time with it all.

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So, Walker and I are wondering where we would like to go on our travels. To foreign lands? Or somewhere closer to home? Big City or hiking in some woods? Or lounging on the beach? Maybe you could tell us of anything interesting where you live?

And maybe we’ll go to the library and find more books that fill the imagination.

And here is a really cool traveling music video from Josh Ritter