Louis is ‘not quite like’ the other children. He often stares into space, and when he is spoken to, he repeats what has been said to him. Louis has an Autistic Spectrum Disorder, and the other children in his class work hard to understand him. When they are playing football, Louis likes to run about amongst the boys with his arms held high in the air. Sometimes this is irritating, but Sam twigs that Louis wants to join in, and he gears the game to Louis’s abilities. The children learn that each person has different needs, needs that must be met in diverse ways, and they accept Louis as he is.
Individuality is central to this story. Each person is painted distinctively, showing us the importance of each individual, and the lively interaction of the children emphasises this, as do strong colours and vivid faces. There is also the realisation that children themselves can identify the needs of their mates, sometimes better than even the most sensitive teacher. There is an endnote about autism, but this book should also be useful in any primary classroom where there is a child with less specific learning difficulties.