Your Stories Matter Blog Tour ~ Review for Emily’s Sister

Your Stories Matter Blog Tour ~ Review for Emily’s Sister

I received this book, and was invited to this blog tour, courtesy of the publisher/Authoright.

Normally I only do a review, but this is a blog tour, and so I will first post my review, and after that I got some information on what Your Stories Matter is + information on the book I reviewed and also an author bio. I also got an excerpt! Yep, this post is full to the brim!

Here is the blog tour banner, then you can also check out other people who will join/have joined in this Blog Tour.

 Review

I received this book, and was invited to this blog tour, courtesy of the publisher/Authoright.

When I got the offer from the publisher, I just had to try out this book. I knew about SPD, but never heard of dyspraxia, so I was curious to read about it.

Right off the bat, I didn’t like the pacing that much. We barely see Elizabeth, we just see her do two things, which, sorry, just seems to me like any toddler when they have to get dressed or when mom/dad leaves. Emily is excited about the day, then suddenly the next chapter the day is over. Mom meets people, and suddenly there is the talk about what is wrong with Elizabeth, while again, we barely saw anything happen. It just feels weird, like the book is flipped around. Plus it also made me wonder why the parents never explained this to Emily before this moment. Before Emily asked. Why didn’t they just pick a good time, and sat around a table, and explained it to her. It is such a big thing, yet it takes Emily asking to have her mom talk to her about it.

The explanation, and some examples of what goes wrong with Elizabeth, was really well done. I haven’t really heard of Dyspraxia, but I do know about SPD. The explanation is long (it takes most of the book), but it was really well written. In a way a kid could easily get it.
Plus it doesn’t just focus on the negative things (the what is wrongs), but also shows what a future would be for a kid with these disorders. That it will be with them for life, but that they can get help and be happier with things in their life. And how Emily can help.

After the explanation we go right in the future (on to a 16-year old Emily), which on the one hand was nice, but on the other hand, again, there is barely anything on Elizabeth.
I was happy to see that it seems that it is going well with Elizabeth (and that she seems so happy and talkative), and that the two sisters really bonded.

I did have a laugh that the precious photograph had gotten so much mistreatment. 😛

So yeah, it was a good book, with great explanation on the disorders, plus the future part was pretty nicely done. And I also quite liked the illustrations and also the font (not the standard font so many books hold). But again, I barely saw anything about Elizabeth. Just a few examples during the explanation, which didn’t really add much depth to the character or what is wrong with her. I feel this could have been fleshed out a bit more. It is about Elizabeth after all. But it feels more like she is a background character. I wish to see a bit more interaction between the sisters at younger age, and maybe see Elizabeth a bit more.

Some information on Your Stories Matter:

About Your Stories Matter: Based in Kendal, Cumbria Paul Johnson is the founder of Your Stories Matter and the parent publishing company Explainer HQ —which provides creative video, audio, animation and print to the business and education sector. All Your Stories Matters titles are published in paperback and are available to order from online retailers including amazon.co.uk.
For more information please visit: https://www.yourstoriesmatter.org and follow on Twitter @ysm_books

About the author:

Emily’s Sister written by Michelle Gianetti —whose daughter has dyspraxia and SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder)— and illustrated by Tanja Russita tells a delightful story, based upon real family experiences, of how Emily discovers how to understand and help her sister live a happier life.

Book information:

This story, written by the parent of a child with Dyspraxia and Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), paves the way for parents, teachers and medical professionals to discuss these specific learning difficulties with children (aged around 7-9).

Unlike most other books on the subject, this book has been written from a child’s perspective: enabling young people to ask questions of the story in a non-threatening way and encouraging them to discover how it relates to them.
This book can be shared with children having special needs, their family, or their classmates.

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Buy it here: Amazon
Excerpt time!

Mom continued to talk to Emily at the park. It was the first time they had talked about her sister like this. Emily felt quite grown up.
Mom told Emily that because of her sister’s SPD, things that wouldn’t bother most people made Elizabeth feel afraid. And the reason she cried such a lot was because when she was afraid she couldn’t tell anybody—as she had not learned to talk yet.

Mom explained that because of SPD, loud sounds, bright lights, new foods and even going into the bathtub all felt so strange to Elizabeth’s body that it scared her.

“I don’t get it Mom,” said Emily, “I love lying in the bath and I love to dance to loud music. So why does this happen to her?”

“Well,” said Mom, “you know everyone has a brain and that the brain helps us to learn, right? Well it also controls the things we say and do.”

Emily nodded.

“Your sister has a brain that has a hard time working out stuff. Like whether it is hearing, seeing or feeling a good or a bad thing,” explained Mom.

“When music goes into your ears, your brain tells your body to dance. But when music goes into your sister’s ears, her brain sends a message to her body that the noise is too loud. This makes her want to shut out the sound. And because she can’t, she cries.”

“This is what happens to your sister for many things she feels, sees and hears,” finished Mom.

Emily nodded and looked down at her feet, knowing she didn’t really understand. “You mean she hates everything?”

Mom smiled. “No honey, she doesn’t hate everything. Her brain sends a bunch of wrong messages, making her feel nervous when they won’t stop. But she doesn’t hate everything.”

“Remember how happy she is when we pull up to the park?” Mom reminded Emily. “But then she cries when we try to get her to climb or do something else, doesn’t she?”

Emily looked up and nodded.

“Well her therapy is going to help her do more things and enjoy them like you do. It will help her mind and body feel a lot better.”

Sitting in the park, on that fun sunny day with Mom, Emily wondered what else her sister felt like each day.


3 thoughts on “Your Stories Matter Blog Tour ~ Review for Emily’s Sister

  1. Thank you so much for taking the time to review the book in detail. I take your point about Elizabeth being in the background, but the story was really written to help, siblings, other family members and classmates to better understand dyspraxia and/or sensory processing disorder. It was not really aimed at individuals who have these conditions. As such we felt it appropriate to tell it from Emily’s point of view so that it would better relate to the target audience. We also chose not to focus too much on Elizabeth’s experiences so it would be more generally applicable and not simply a biographical work. But thank you again for your honest and overall positive review. The Publisher.

    1. You’re welcome. Yes, I can understand that and I can see your point, but I feel that if the Elizabeth character was fleshed out more, it may have added some relatability to the story. Which is also a key thing, in my opinion, to better understanding a situation.
      You’re welcome again, thanks for the opportunity, I am really happy I read the book. It was very interesting to read.

      1. Hi. Vera McLuckie and the Daydream Club is a children’s book aimed at the same age range whose three main characters are dyspraxic, dyslexic and autistic – without these labels being used explicitly. This book does provide an insight into what it feels like to have these traits, but that of course it’s ok to be different. We also have some books for younger children planned for 2017/18 that deal with sensory issues that are explained in children’s terms. We aim to have a mix of styles to suit as many people as possible!

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