Horn Book
Marinov tactfully parallels Leo's neurodivergence with Maya's own talents, allowing readers to both sympathize with and admire their approaches to the world. Nixon's stylized illustrations, gently rendered in a muted palette, make excellent use of shape and color ... Marinov simply and straightforwardly honors the experiences of a child on the autism spectrum who is negotiating this overstimulating planet.
This sweet book gives readers a different perspective and shows them how sometimes what is ok for some might not be for others. I read this book with my own kids and we had a great discussion about how we all feel differently in typical day to day situations.
Unpacking the Power of Picture Books
This story has so much going for it in fostering empathy and awareness of neurodivergent children, but it is much more than that. Even with the neon orange color accents, the tone and pace of the text and the images create a subdued, supportive, and engaging structure for readers of all kinds to dive right in to the story, and into the discussions it could spark.
Mom Read It
A must-read, must-have to teach empathy and understanding to others as well as to provide kids on the spectrum with a child they recognize on the page.
Liberty Reads
I loved that I read this book with my children and could strike up a conversation about what children with autism deal with WITHOUT a list of impersonal terms in the book that defined who Leo was because of autism. ... This book is highly recommended for 4-8 year olds to enjoy with their families and classmates!
Kirkus Reviews, STARRED
Writer Marinov, mother of an autistic child, expertly paces this gentle story, interspersing Leo’s own feelings with information about octopuses. The author of a book about Asperger’s syndrome adds a note in the backmatter. Nixon’s slightly stylized art uses a limited palette and an ever changing layout to extend readers’ understanding. ... Sympathetic and gently insightful.