Sunday 28 June 2015

Tom's Special Talent

This post includes affiliate links
scroll down for
video reviews
An introduction to dyslexia along with important messages about individual learning styles & unique talents.

Title: Tom's Special Talent : A story About Dyslexia (Special Stories)
Author: Kate Gaynor
Illustrator: Eva Byrne
Published: 2009 by Special Stories Publishing

Reviewed copy from my local library.

Book Description
Back of Book: Tom isn't sure if he really has any talents at all when he sees how good his friends are at writing and reading. But a school competition helps him to find his own very 'special talent.'

The Story:
Tom is the narrator, and aged maybe 7 or 8, he fondly describes his school life - his lovely teacher, Miss Jolly, and fun activities including singing, music and art.
Tom struggles with literacy lessons though....anxious about reading, he worries that he's not as good as his peers. 

The kind Miss Jolly is there to support him however, explaining that, we all learn differently, each of us having special or unique talents. 

Tom explains a little about dyslexia, reassuring readers that,it doesn't mean you're not clever, 'it just means you have to practice a bit harder at the things you find difficult to do.' While Tom finds reading difficult, he really enjoys singing songs, playing games and art time..Tom's 'special talent' is painting pictures.

More from Missus B:
With bright and cheerful illustrations, this book celebrates diversity, mutual respect and individuality. 

Many readers may relate to the challenges Tom faces.'The only part of the school day I don't really like is when we practice our reading and writing' . We see the glum faced Tom standing in front of his peers with the word 'Help' framing his face.

'I feel worried and afraid that I might get the words wrong. I am not as good at reading as some of my friends.'

We all have special talents that are unique to us Miss Jolly reassures Tom.
Tom describes Dyslexia in simple terms, and highlights how, while writing and spelling is hard for him, there are many things that he does easily. This is a simple message for the child with dyslexia, or any child who may struggle with some parts of learning. Within the story, we hear about several students who may struggle in one area, while being skilled in another.
The book gives a brief explanation about dyslexia.At the rear of the book,
there is a 'Notes for Grown Up's '
section which provides further info about this learning difficult
On closing the story, Tom asks the reader to think about their own special talent and a page at the rear is left blank for the child to colour or write about this. 

When I shared this book with my nieces and nephews, it led to a lovely discussion about the talents of each family member, with the children discussing and acknowledging their positive attributes - a nice change from the usual sibling rivalry!

The back inside cover has 'Notes for Grown Up's'  as well as contact information for a dyslexia support agency.

In short
This book gives a positive message about learning styles, talents and unique characteristics. It gives a brief explanation about dyslexia and for the young or a recently diagnosed child, it is a positive and reassuring read. All children will relate to it's core message-we each have strengths and weaknesses. 

While the book's cover has 'A Story About Dyslexia' in small print, the information is on the brief side-it may not satisfy the child with more questions.

If you as a parent or professional need more information in a child friendly format- here is another excellent resource which I have used in my work : - Dyslexia:information for kids
Child reviews the book:

A Missus B video review:

An excellent child friendly web page to help children learn more about dyslexia:Kids Health: Dyslexia

Are you a parent in need of  more information about dyslexia? Here is a helpful page-KidsHealth:Understanding Dyslexia

Happy reading,

Missus B

Get the book at these affiliate links:

No comments:

Post a Comment