I love that children’s books are wholeheartedly inclusive in our modern times. When I was growing up, it seemed as if every single book featured pink-faced blond boys and girls, always with two matched parents. Nowadays we have a wide variety of stories to choose from.
I Can Fix It is one of those stories.
This is from the series about Iris the Dragon written by Gayle Grass and illustrated by Graham Ross. Its focus is on how living with Asperger’s Syndrome can sometimes involve social stigma.
This book is later in the series, but it introduces the previous characters in a way which feels natural. Iris is a 909-year-old dragon with special human friends.
The story is a heartwarming one. The young girl, Josie, has challenges with loud noises. She likes to follow the rules. She has many traits that those on the spectrum can relate with. Iris the Dragon helps her with her troubles.
I do have issues with the editing of this story. There are numerous grammatical problems here. Also, the dialogue editing could use some help. Often you’re three sentences in to a dialogue before you’re told who was speaking. It means you can end up reading lines in the wrong “voice” and have to go back and re-read them. All the normal rules of dialogue writing seem to have been thrown to the wind here.
I’ll also say that for the target audience the paragraphs can get very long and “lecturey”. Instead of short kid-oriented interchanges where children can learn what is going on, it’s almost as if it’s written to educate parents in a textbook style manner. I’m all for parents learning about an issue as they read to the children, but there should be a balance there. Both aims can be achieved without it turning into a textbook lecture.
Still, I’ll give it four stars. The illustrations are cute, Josie feels like an authentic young woman on the spectrum, and hopefully the other issues can be fixed soon.