Reading/Interest Level: Primary, Intermediate
Author: Shaina Rudolph and Danielle Royer
Illustrator: Jennifer Zivoin
Publisher: Magination Press
All My Stripes tells the story of Zane, a young zebra with autism. The story begins when he comes home and tells his mom about the horrible day he had. Zane did not want to paint like the other students, did not know how to talk to them, and drew differently than them. He feels misunderstood and does not like how everyone only sees his autism stripe. But in talking with his mom, Zane learns that his autism is just one of his many stripes. Zane’s mother helps him see the many other talents and abilities he has. Zane has much to offer to the other boys and girls at school. All My Stripes highlights the difficulties faced by children with autism, and helps readers develop empathy towards them that will shape future interactions with those children.
This book is an excellent resource for teachers, parents, and other caregivers as they teach children about those with autism. Zane’s story highlights several difficulties autistic children face: sensory processing, socio-communicative, and concrete-thinking challenges. As children read this story, they will learn that although autistic children have specific challenges, they still have much to offer. Following the story, the authors include a reading guide (written with the assistance of experts in the field of autism) that includes additional information to help adults teach about autism, and to help parents look for symptoms of autism in their own children. The authors intended for this story to inspire readers to treat those with autism with kindness and empathy. Reading this story with children will help make the world a more welcoming place for everyone by better understanding children with autism.