Based on a true story, Alex and the Drummer is a book about a young autistic boy.
On the way to Alex’s preschool each day, he and his mother pass an inflatable drummer which is placed outside of a shop in South Korea. Alex loves seeing the drummer! He points it out to his mother while clapping, smiling, and waving. It brings joy and excitement to Alex’s daily routine.
One day, as Alex and his mom pass by, they notice a construction worker has unplugged the drummer to be able to use his tools. What may seem like a small occurence in our daily lives could prove to be a very difficult change for an autistic child. Saddened, Alex lies down on the sidewalk beside the deflated drummer.
Alex’s mother advocates for her son by speaking to the construction worker. The worker shows kindness and understanding by plugging in the drummer for Alex. A simple gesture makes a young boy feel like he has some consistency in his day-to-day routine, bringing him happiness in an ever-changing world.
I love that the story is written from the unique perspective of the inflatable drummer. I found this vantage point to be very original!
I also enjoyed the illustrations in this book! They are bright, colourful, and pair well with the text. I think they assist in sharing the story and would appeal to young readers.
As a former Autism Studies student and as an Early Childhood Educator, I love that this story centres around a young, autistic boy. I feel it is so important to represent autistic children in literature, both for the neurodivergent and also their neurotypical peers. This story can help encourage a dialogue relating to autism while simultaneously promoting inclusive education by teaching acceptance of personal differences at a young age. I would recommend this book for children aged 3-7.
You can purchase Alex and the Drummer and follow Laura on social media using this link: https://zez.am/thedrummerstories
Laura Hales will be launching a Kickstarter campaign for her second book, Alex and the Muffin Man, soon! Check out this link to receive updates and to donate: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/thedrummerstories/alex-and-the-muffin-man-autism-acceptance-books
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