Book Reviews

Understanding Oscar¬†is a delightful and insightful look into daily family life when a child has autism. It shows the joy as well as the challenges and is a great help for parents and siblings alike.’

Professor Jonathan Carapetis, Executive Director, Telethon Kids Institute

‘A beautiful read that any family can relate to – but especially delightful for those of us who celebrate difference.

Oscar’s story is familiar to so many of us. This stunning picture book will help little brothers and sisters (and mums and dads) navigate the pathway to empathy and understanding.’

Kellie Sloane, CEO of Life Education Australia

‘This is an excellent book on so many levels – well done Jade Chapman for exploring autistic Oscar’s tricky behaviour with such compassion and understanding.

Helping siblings and playmates understand the ‘why’ beneath some of Oscar’s often unpredictable behaviours and why it can be hard for him to make better choices allows his brothers to connect with him better. The illustrations are beautiful and done by Naya Lazareva. This needs to be in homes, ECEC’s and schools to help build awareness and understanding about autism.’

Maggie dent, Australian Parenting Author, Educator and speaker

‘This beautifully illustrated book sheds an honest light on the daily challenges for families balancing the competing needs and wants of a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and those of their siblings.

Understanding Oscar explains how empathy and patience can make all the difference. The engaging story-line ensures the world of Autism is more accessible and better understood by children. This will be a valuable book for schools and teachers to share with students in order to educate them about diversity, acceptance and inclusion.’

Dr Anne Chalfant, Director and Senior Clinical Psychologist, Annie’s Centre: Specialists in child health and development

Understanding Oscar by Jade Chapman is an informative and beautiful story for children. The book shows brothers Banjo and George getting to understand their other sibling, Oscar, and friend, Nala, who each have autism, but not in the same way. Oscar can’t talk and sometimes unintentionally upsets and annoys his brothers, but that’s because they don’t understand how Oscar is different, or why. Nala on the other hand can talk, is sensitive to loud noises and bright lights, and likes things done in a particular way. The story progresses and eventually, Banjo starts to look at Oscar differently and begins to understand him and his way of being. If you need a helping hand when it comes to explaining autism simply and effectively, then purchase a copy of this outstanding book; Understanding Oscar.’

Talented author Jade Chapman has done an amazing job of showing and explaining autism in a way younger children will understand. The story is relatable to real families who have one or more children with autism, and how it can affect their siblings/other family members. This book is well-written and includes perfect examples of how to educate people, not just children, on how autism can be different in everyone, and how to interact with them. Through personal experience, I have learned about autism first hand, and until that point, I didn’t understand it and what it meant. If I had had a book like Understanding Oscar, I would have been greatly informed and prepared for the condition. I can’t recommend this book enough as I found it to be extremely beneficial, and the illustrations will be a big hit with young ones! So even if your family doesn’t include a member with autism, please still educate and inform your child so that they can grow up with an understanding of it. Amazing work, Jade, keep it up!

Reviewed by Amy Louise Hill for Readers’ Favorite

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