“Sometimes I do not like David. He is so different. He speaks a different language. . . . David is my brother.” Thus begins a moving story about David, who has autism, and his older brother, who is trying to understand the world David inhabits. David does not like when people are noisy; he does not like being hugged—not even by his own brother. David does not laugh when happy or cry when sad. He speaks his own language, which is difficult to understand at times. And he eats the same foods almost every day. However, David is a brilliant pianist and seems to have an amazing ability to communicate with the family dog. And even though he is not like most children, through the eyes of his brother we are able to see how he makes progress toward understanding his world.
Dagmar H. Mueller’s moving text paired with Verena Ballhaus’s expressive art help bring to light the notion that there is a lot to learn about spending time with a child with autism. The book’s striking narration—told from the point of view of David’s brother—will help siblings and friends of autistic children better relate to them. This is a must for any home with children with autism and for classrooms that include mainstreamed special-needs kids.