Tom can’t read facial expressions, so he doesn’t understand the other children and they don’t understand him. Playing at the park can be lonely sometimes, but luckily Tom has his dog, Boo, and Boo is easy to understand. She wags her tail when she is happy and whines when she is sad.
One day, Boo gets her beard all knotted up in the bushes. A little girl named Lydia sees Boo and stops to talk to Tom. Boo’s beard has been tangled into a big smile, and Lydia explains to Tom that it’s the expression that someone makes when she is happy. She twists Boo’s beard into more expressions, explaining each one as she goes. When Lydia invites Tom and Boo to play on the swings with the kids, Tom and Boo join her. And at the end of the book, Tom understands the meaning of his own smile.
This sweet book familiarizes children with social disabilities, such as autism and Asperger’s syndrome. Children learn the meaning of facial expressions and are introduced to the possibility that some children may have difficulty interacting with them.
Sky Pony Press, with our Good Books, Racehorse and Arcade imprints, is proud to publish a broad range of books for young readerspicture books for small children, chapter books, books for middle grade readers, and novels for young adults. Our list includes bestsellers for children who love to play Minecraft; stories told with LEGO bricks; books that teach lessons about tolerance, patience, and the environment, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.
Bethany Straker has illustrated ten books as well as a number of magazines. She likes to use humor to draw her audience in for both her children’s and adult books. Her work has been described as somewhere between the stylings of a Steve Fiorilla and a Mike Judge series” (filmmonthly.com). She enjoys the little visual details that others may not notice, loves drawing the grotesque, and champions the underdog. She lives in Kent, England.