In December 2014 we reviewed Leah’s Voice, a picture book for children by author Lori DeMonia. Our review can be read here. The book was inspired by her eldest daughter, Leah, who has autism.
We were very excited to find out that Lori has now released her second book, Love for Logan, and again we were eager to read and review it. The story focuses upon sisters, Logan and her elder sister Leah, who has autism. The book is also beautifully illustrated by Monique Turchan.
The issue that this book predominantly tackles ‘head on’ is that of sensory processing disorder (SPD), something that is very rarely covered in narrative fiction for children. The subject is introduced when a conversation begins between Logan and her parents, when Logan accidentally spills a box of bobby pins onto the floor. She has been excitedly trying on her pink butterfly dress for her ballet recital. The noise startles Leah, who then runs from the room covering her ears.
‘“It’s a condition that makes someone react differently than what we’d expect. If they’re sensitive to things they taste, touch, or hear, like what you just saw, they respond in a way that’s different from you or me,” Mom explained.’
I like how Lori describes to the reader, to the child, what SPD is, and I especially like the way in which she tells of how Leah would not have her picture taken in her newly made jumper that grandma had knitted for her, as it was too ‘scratchy’.
‘“Yeah, Leah wouldn’t put that ugly thing on,” I said.
“It wasn’t what they looked like, but because they’re wool, and scratchy. She’s sensitive that way too,” Daddy explained.
“What she touches, or feels on her skin.”
“Is that why you take labels out of her clothes, Mom?” I asked.
“Exactly,” Mom said.’
I have tried to describe my son’s sensory issue to his elder brother, and sometimes it is so very difficult to find the right words. My son is sensory seeking but also does not like sudden loud noises and he can react in a similar way to Leah. This book I feel, would help explain further to my son, why his brother sometimes behaves the way in which he does.
The whole story hinges on whether Leah will make it to the ballet recital, to watch her sister, because of her sensory difficulties. I would hate to spoil the ending for you, so I can’t tell you what happens. But what I can say is that Lori writes with such compassion and feeling for these two young girls and their family. She tells it how it is, giving the children who read her book, the facts, but in a way in which they will understand.
This book is simply delightful. It tells a story that children will enjoy, as well as cleverly raining questions that many children would like to ask, and answers them honestly and gently. I give this book a huge thumbs up!
About the author – Lori DeMonia
Lori has worked in behavioral health as a TSS, therapeutic staff support, with special needs children for more than 5 years.
She is also a parent consultant with PEAC – The Pennsylvania Education for All Coalition, an organization that supports inclusive classroom placement for special needs children. Her daughter’s inclusion in the regular educational setting as well as summer camp has been a major contributor to her progress. Children with different abilities being included among their peers at school and in their community is something she strongly supports.
Leah’s Voice website can be found here A new ebsite will soon be launced and can be found at www.autismkidsbooks.com
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