Reviewed by Karen
When I say ‘I love books’ it is a bit of an understatement as one part of my job is to find the perfect book for every child I meet during my events. It is a passion of mine to find a book that I know someone will enjoy, learn from or be taken off into a different world of imagination. Books are a great way for children to express themselves, understand situations around them and develop a greater understanding of the world in a safe environment.
Books aren’t just about learning new things they are about sharing experiences and teaching people there is a different way to look at the world. Pablo At The Zoo does exactly this. It helps young children to understand that everyone isn’t the same and we all have different families or friendship groups, but that no one is more important than the other. It teaches about acceptance of other people and their situations whilst guiding us through Noasaurus’s story in a caring and understanding manner. It is routed in the friendships that they have and the strong bond that they all share with each other.
The book has fantastic illustrations which are big, bright and bold and grab the attention of young readers. The text is short and allows children to use their own imagination whilst they read the book. My children loved pointing out the different animals and seeing where Noasaurus’s journey takes her. My son, who is particularly interested in making up stories has continued to tell me stories about the book hours after we’ve read it and I’ve also noticed Noasaurus coming out in his day-to-day imagination play. It is a brilliant book to help little minds to understand that not everyone sees the world in the same way and some people need help and reassurance from their friends.
Within the book Pablo uses his ‘magic crayons’ to create the pictures and express the challenges that some children will face from time to time and how the overcome them. Interestingly I found out that each Pablo book is written by writers who are on the autism spectrum. This enables them to show their real-life experiences within the characters in the book and the stories that they share. As I don’t have anyone close to me who is on the autism spectrum it was a little eye opener as an adult to understand that struggles that some children/adults face when dealing with different situations. This book not only teaches children but adults too.
This would make a wonderful gift for any young child. It helps to teach empathy for those children who need more time or space in different situations as well as teaching children that everybody doesn’t have to have the stereotypical family to make themselves feel included. As well as Pablo goes to the Zoo there are 5 other stories in the series which range from shopping to picking shoes to feelings and noisy parties. All these situations are difficult for children on the autism spectrum to navigate through. I am curious as to what is included in the other books and would love to check them out with the kids to see what we can learn.
It can be purchased here.