Review also includes:
It’s Called Dyslexia, **
Jennifer Moore-Mallinos, ill. Marta Fabrega, O’Brien Press, 36pp, 978-1847172037
In Hudson Hates School creativity is Hudson’s forte but sadly, school is something he really hates. He’s particularly dreading it on Friday because that’s spelling test day and Hudson hasn’t learned his spellings. Not because he didn’t try or because he’s stupid; Hudson is dyslexic, though nobody knows this yet. Then Mr Shapland is called in. To Hudson this seems the last straw as he is faced with yet more tests, but, these tests highlight his specific learning difficulty and open the way for a new and more exciting time at school.
The author/artist portrays Hudson and his dyslexia with sensitivity and understanding. Her illustrations are delightfully upbeat and slightly quirky and the contrasting images of Hudson’s and Mr Shapland’s brains offer readers an insight into what makes some kinds of learning more challenging for those with dyslexia. I have to say I was saddened by Hudson’s teacher’s approach to educating young children, accurate as it may be in some instances. Happily she does call in specialist help.
It’s Called Dyslexia is published collaboratively with the Dyslexia Association of Ireland and supported by Hasbro’s National Game Playing Week. A girl narrator shares her feelings about her lack of progress in learning to read and write despite all her efforts. We hear how she is tested and found to have dyslexia, given a brief explanation of what this means, and see how, with support and of course, determination, she learns to read. To her delight, she also discovers her particular talent for poetry writing and most important of all, a sense of self belief.
The last four pages of the book contain a double-page spread on activities designed to support children like the narrator and another of support and advice for parents.
While Hudson Hates School will be pulled from the shelf and enjoyed by any child, It’s Called Dyslexia is aimed at children with dyslexia and their anxious parents.