Reviewer Conny Withay:Operating her own business in office management since 1991, Conny is an avid reader, volunteers reading the Bible to the elderly, and makes handmade jewelry. A cum laude graduate with a degree in art living in the Pacific Northwest, she is married with two sons, two daughter-in-laws, and one granddaughter.
Author: Jewel Kats
Illustrator: Richa Kinra
Publisher: Loving Healing Press
“The girl’s rock collection is beautiful; just as she is. These rocks belong to the earth, and so does she. I am a lucky man to be her father,” the king announces in Jewel Kats’s children’s story, The Princess and the Ruby – An Autism Fairy Tale.
This forty-two page over-sized square paperback book has a young girl sitting on a throne on the front cover. With no profanity or scary scenes, the tome is targeted toward kindergarten to early elementary school aged children and especially those who have or know of someone with autism. Due to complicated words, it would best be read out loud to beginner readers. With the storyline in small out-lined purple print on the right side of the page, illustrator Richa Kinra’s colorful drawings cover all of the right side of the pages. The end of the book includes the author’s biography and other written books.
Written for every parent or guardian of a child with autism spectrum disorder, this tome is a rendition of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Princess and the Pea with the same story of a poor, tattered, hungry girl that knocks on the castle gates late at night and is welcomed by her father, the king, and his new wife. The frightened, lonely girl sleeps on stacked mattresses with a hidden gem inside, placed by the queen who does not like her.
But unlike the original tale, the young eight year old girl has autism so does not track well nor communicate at the same level as those around her. When she arrives, she twirls, spins in circles, sways back and forth, and plays with small round rocks.
Yet the king knows she is his long-forgotten lost daughter and loves her dearly. However, the new queen does not take a liking to her so deviously plants the prized possession of a ruby under her twelve stacked mattresses and waits to see what happens.
When the lass attempts to sleep, she cannot and notices a lump in her bed and a crack in the window that lets in the cold air. She finds the expensive stone and places it in the window’s crack and gets a good night’s sleep. The next day the queen realizes she is smart and is the king’s daughter.
Although this yarn is a remake of a well-known story, Kats conveys that autistic children are still smart, creative and helpful in their own distinctive way.
This book was furnished by the publicist in lieu of an unbiased review.