The Two Trees
Your Nickel's Worth Publishing / 4 September 2015

The Two Trees Written by Sally Meadows, Illustrated by Trudi Olfert Published by Your Nickel’s Worth Publishing Review by Shelley A. Leedahl $14.95 ISBN 978-1-927756-43-0 I love receiving new books to review, but sometimes I can’t get to them immediately. Before I had a chance to dive into The Two Trees, a children’s book by Saskatoon writer\illustrator team Sally Meadows and Trudi Olfert, my visiting friend, Flo, picked the book off my kitchen counter and read it. “What did you think?” I asked. “Loved it,” Flo said. “It brought tears to my eyes.” Any children’s story that can move an adult to tears is one I don’t want to wait another moment to read. I took the softcover book to my deck and in the few minutes it took to engage with the sensitively-written and pastel-illustrated story – about the relationship between two brothers, and the younger’s difficulty with the elder’s inability to socially interact “normally” both at home and school – I too, experienced the proverbial lump-in-throat that signifies an emotional connection’s been made. “Wow,” I said, “what a strong metaphor for ‘otherness’”. “I know,” Flo said. “And that word at the end, ‘almost’ … that’s what got me.”…

Ducks on the Moon
Hagios Press / 16 January 2013

Ducks on the Moon by Kelley Jo Burke Published by Hagios Press Review by Regine Haensel $18.95 ISBN 978-1-926710-07-5 Ducks on the Moon takes the reader into a multi-media experience that is part one-woman play, part self-help book. Kelley Jo Burke is an award winning Regina playwright, poet, director, documentarian and broadcaster. She is also the parent of a child with autism spectrum disorder, a combination that makes for a readable, informative and emotionally engaging book. A few pages in, we are caught by a side note: “A flavor like mustard, if tolerated, can mask many tastes and textures that are sensorially unacceptable to the child.” This captures the strange, wonderful, and demanding world that parents and others must enter if they are to live with, love, and help a child with autism. Burke’s one woman play takes us through the emotional highs and lows of giving birth, of discovering something is different about this child, and then into the long process of getting a diagnosis. After that comes the frustration of trying to find help, and learning how to cope with a life that will never be normal. One of the parents says, “It’s got its ups and downs…

Horses, Hockey, & Haloes
Lori Kohlman / 8 April 2009

The novel “Horses, Hockey and Haloes” takes the reader on a journey of discovery. Author Lori Kohlman approaches the subject of autism with sensitivity and respect. Her purpose in writing this book is to give the reader an opportunity to learn and understand more about Autism. It is obvious that she has done a great deal of research about this disorder as she tackles the subject in a knowledgeable and informed way. Autism is a neurological condition that causes developmental disabilities. It results in delayed and underdeveloped communication skills and social interactions. Autism is more common in boys and usually becomes apparent before the child is three years old.

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