All My Stripes: A Story for Children with Autism

April is National Autism Awareness Month

All My Stripes9781433819179_p0_v1_s260x420All My Stripes: A Story for Children with Autism

Shaina Rudolph and Danielle Royer, Authors

Jennifer Zivoin, Illustrator

Magination Press, Fiction, Mar. 22, 2015

Suitable for Ages: 4-8

Themes: Autism Spectrum, Animals, Differences

Opening: Zane ran home as fast as he could.  “Nobody gets me, Mama!” Mama hugged Zane. He began to tell her about his bad day.

Synopsis: Zane the Zebra feels different from the rest of his classmates. He worries that all they notice about him is his red “autism stripe” located smack in the middle of his forehead.  During art class when the other zebras are working on their hoof-painting projects, Zane doesn’t want to get paint on his hooves and uses a paintbrush instead. The other zebras tease him.  During math class, the fire alarm blares. The other zebras form a line and leave while Zane hides under his desk screaming. After lunch he tries to join in the conversation with the other zebras and they ignore him. He worries that all the other zebras see is his autism stripe.

What I like about this book:

  • All My Stripes is a heartwarming book written especially for children with autism.  They will easily see themselves in this lovable zebra hero. As they follow Zane at school they will identify with his sensitivity to touch and sound, and his difficulty interacting with the other zebras.  Zane wants so much to fit in and just can’t figure out how to start a conversation. When the kids walk away, Zane starts talking louder.  I’m sure this will resonate with autistic children.
  •  Shaina Rudolph and Danielle Royer shine a light on the autism spectrum, but go a step further and show how endearing, unique and beautiful the children are in this inspiring story about embracing differences. Although the book is meant for kids with autism, its message really could translate to all children. It is also very entertaining.
  • I applaud the author’s use of stripes as a wonderful metaphor in the story. Mama zebra helps Zane feel proud of all of his stripes. She holds him up to a mirror and tells him the meaning of his stripes and how each pattern reveals something that is uniquely Zane: his caring stripe, his curiosity stripe, his pilot stripe, his honesty stripe and his autism stripe. Children will grasp this concept.
  • Jennifer Zivoin’s illustrations are bold, colorful and stunning.  They capture Zane’s emotions and exhilaration. Children will carefully pour over each adorable detail. Great collaboration between the authors and illustrator.

Resources/Activities:   The book has a wealth of information at the end. There is a reading guide that follows the book and tackles the problems that Zane faces in school. There is also a note to for parents and caregivers with tips on finding support. Encourage kids to draw a picture of a zebra and make their own unique stripe patterns.  Visit Hello Kids to learn how to draw a zebra.

Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books (PPB) 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.

29 thoughts on “All My Stripes: A Story for Children with Autism

  1. I think this idea of using stripes to share all the facets (including autism) of this young zebra is wonderful and so visually strong to help young readers understand some of the beauty and challenge of being on the autism spectrum. The front cover is quite zany!


    • This story is so adorable and really drives home the message about autism is just one aspect of who the zebra/child is. Kids will really love this book. Unfortunately the cover I share doesn’t really show how beautiful the illustrations are.


  2. Pingback: All My Stripes: A Story for Children with Autism | Natasha Wing

  3. This looks wonderful and like a very helpful book for giving perspective to kids of all kinds. My son has a good friend that has very recently been diagnosed as being on the spectrum. I’m looking for more resources to help my son understand his friend better — All My Stripes looks like it could help my son understand his friend better. Thank you so much! This book recommendation couldn’t have come at a better time for us!


  4. Autism seems to be diagnosed more often all the time and this looks like a great resource. The stripe idea is a great visual for kids.Thanks for sharing the book, Pat!


  5. Patricia, thank you for sharing. What a great concept! This is a very caring way to show the problem children with autism face.


  6. Pat, I can see how this book would be extremely helpful for kids with or without autism. And It’s never too early to teach kids about respecting others who are not like themselves. Love that the author used stripes to show the differences among the zebras. Great review!


    • Thank you! I felt that this book would be helpful to kids without autism. We all have differences and its learning to accept who we and others are. This book is such a special story — adorable illustrations.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. That really is brilliant to use a stripe as a metaphor for autism (and some of those behaviors are all too familiar to me with my son). And, what fun! Jennifer Zivoin is an illustrator in my local SCBWI group. Such a lovely gal.


  8. I love the concept of this book – would be very useful in the classroom. I also like the activity where the children draw a zebra and add in their own unique stripes. Everyone is different in their own way!


  9. You say it is a book especially for children with autism but I think kids without and with differences would benifit from this book, too. We all feel different. Kids will definitely see and empathize with autistic children when they are told the problem. This is a wonderful book meant for everyone. 🙂


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