Anthony Best

Anthony Best9781616089610_p0_v1_s260x420Anthony Best

Davene Fahy, Author

Carol Inouye, Illustrator

Sky Pony Press, September 2012

Suitable for Ages: 5 and up

Themes:  Asperger’s Syndrome,  Autism Spectrum Disorder, Friendship, Abilities

OpeningMy next door friend is Anthony.  If you ask Anthony his name, he always says, “My name is Anthony Best and I am the best..”  But do you want to know a secret?  He’s not always the best boy.

Synopsis:  Hannah narrates the story about her friend, Anthony,  who screams when he hears loud noises, crosses streets without looking for cars, and throws sand at kids in the sandbox.  But, Hannah likes to play with Anthony, even when he wants to play by himself.  When Anthony spins, Hannah spins.  When he’s in a flipping mood, Hannah flips her pages.  Hannah knows that makes Anthony happy.  She also teaches Anthony how to play with other kids.  One day a big delivery  truck pulls up in front of Anthony’s house.  The next day Hannah hears beautiful music floating out the window and follows the sound.  She is very surprised when she discovers Anthony’s hidden talent.

Why I like this book:  Davene Fahy may show all the things that makes Anthony different from other children, but she also shows how those differences makes him special.   This is a nice story that teaches children about their autistic friends and why they act the way they do.  I especially like how Fahy has Hannah following Anthony into his world so that she can better understand her best friend.  Carol Inouye’s illustrations are colorful, and expressive.  You may want to visit Davene Fahy at her website.

Resources: There is back matter at the end with suggested resources.  But the ending of the book is a great way to start discussions with children about differences and special abilities.

Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book.  To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Books.

About Patricia Tiltonhttps://childrensbooksheal.wordpress.comI want "Children's Books Heal" to be a resource for parents, grandparents, teachers and school counselors. My goal is to share books on a wide range of topics that have a healing impact on children who are facing challenges in their lives. If you are looking for good books on grief, autism, visual and hearing impairments, special needs, diversity, bullying, military families and social justice issues, you've come to the right place. I also share books that encourage art, imagination and creativity. I am always searching for those special gems to share with you. If you have a suggestion, please let me know.

42 thoughts on “Anthony Best

  1. Hannah is an enduring character! She leads by example.
    Accepting of Anthony’s differences.
    In aw of his special ability to plan the piano with grace.

    ANOTHY BEST is on my “must read” list.

    Thanks, Pat, for doing such a wonderful job at helping so many with your book reviews!


  2. This sounds like a great book, Pat. I love that Anthony plays the piano. When my kids were little they took piano lessons, and the lady next door to their teacher taught music using the Alexander technique to kids with a whole spectrum of difficulties including autism, and it was wonderful to see how it seemed to bring out the best in them.


    • Susanna, I’m glad you like my choice. And thank you for sharing that information about a music teacher working with kids ASD and other issues. Music comes from the soul, not their physical forms. So many of the children are artistic.


  3. Another lovely review and interesting story, giving an insight for children to understand differences in other children. ( I learnt to play the piano as a child, but never continued after leaving school). Thanks for sharing this wonderful story, Pat.


  4. This sounds like another book I will have to check out. You always seem to find the BEST books on Autism spectrum disorder. Thanks so much for sharing this book. 🙂


  5. OK – Now we’ll have to start calling you Patricia Best, because you are the BEST at discovering wonderful books and sharing them in a way that makes people smile!

    One of the youngsters in our life is on the spectrum and he recently announced that he wanted to learn ballet. Now, he’s the only boy in the class and he’s loving it. Our god-daughter, who has Down Syndrome, plays baseball, cheers, and performs in musical plays, and everything she does gives her great joy, and those who get to be in her midst can’t help but be joyous too.

    What do both of these children have in common? Incredible parents (and other folks in their lives) who would do anything to help them thrive and be happy.

    BUT, we have all needed tools, resources, ways to understand HOW to be involved in their lives in healthy ways and books like Anthony Best and the others you lift up in your postings are critically important.

    Yesterday, I went through around six months worth of your posts and placed orders for books for our shop. I’ll have a little sign by a group of books that says “Patricia (Best) Tilton Recommends!

    Thank you Patricia Best for helping us!


    • Craig, you do the same thing. We both seek out the best books for kids who need to read them. Thank your for sharing such wonderful stories — you always have a great story. I love it that the little boy loves ballet and your god-daughter is so involved in sports and music.

      Wow! I can’t believe you went through so many of my posts and ordered some of the books I reviewed! I am absolutely speechless. And, the sign — oh my!
      I have a really good book review coming up that you’re going to love. Thank you for your kind words!


  6. This sounds like a wonderful book – and we need wonderful books like these. I love it when characters realize that compassion and caring for a friend can help bring out hidden talents and bring more light into their lives. Thank you for sharing this book.


  7. Wow, Hannah sounds like the perfect playmate for a child with autism. It is not an easy task to help children have this level of empathy and books like this can be a great tool for this.


  8. What a wonderful book! One of my dearest friends was diagnosed with Asperger’s as an adult. The beginning of our friendship was a little rocky because I didn’t understand what was going on, but with time and patience it got easier. Now, he could not be a better friend. I’m so happy to see this story being told. I wish I had read a story like this when I was a child.

    I will definitely check this out. Thank you for the recommendation!


    • I’m glad you found the Anthony Best helpful. Since your friend is older, there are some YA books for young adults with Asperger’s: Marcelo in the Real World, Francisco X. Stork (YA), Wild Orchid, Waiting for No One and White Bicycle (YA trilogy) by Beverly Brenna, and Temple Grandin: How The Girl Who Loved Cows Embraced Autism and Changed the World, Sy Montgomery, (YA). Temple really gives you a really good insight into her special brain and it is a true story. If you haven’t watched the movie about Temple, I’d encourage you to check it out at the library. All of the books I mentioned are excellent.


  9. Definitely would like to read this. Ever since I started reading about Temple Grandin, how she sees, thinks, I have been interested in the whole spectrum, and how fine the lines are that separate all of us. Thanks for the pick!


    • Glad you like my choice Julie. Asperger’s is very interesting. I have read and watched everything possible on Temple Grandin. Such a simple uncluttered mind that can focus on what is important and see what others can’t. I look at all kids with ASD has having special brains. Did you read the YA novel “Marcelo in the Real World” By Francisco Stork. Great read. I also loved Beverly Brenna’s trilogy (Wild Orchid) about a girl graduating from high school, entering young adulthood and seeking independence.


  10. Another great book from Ms Tilton! I like that Hannah! At our schools here in Glen Rose, we have quite a few autistic students and lots of kids like Hannah. It’s so fun to see them get involved together. We also have a wonderful music therapist who comes to visit the special needs kids and that is a real JOY to see!! Music and dogs often make for special connections with these kids. Thanks again Ms Tilton!


  11. ‘Anthony Best’ looks like one of the ‘best’ picture books for addressing these issues. You know, Pat, your blog is an amazing resource to discover special books like this one. I’m truly thankful for it!
    I love the relationship between Hannah and Anthony…what a great example to other children AND adults. 🙂


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