Seven picture books starring shapes 24/11/20
Pablo and the Noisy Party
Publisher: Ladybird Books
When Pablo is invited to his cousin’s party, he finds the music and laughter just too overwhelming, and that’s before he’s even set foot inside the room. So he goes back to the car, where it’s quiet. There, he gets out his crayons and starts to draw. Before long, his imaginary friends are there to help him explore and make sense of the situation.
Fans of CBeebies will already know Pablo and friends from the successful TV series with its all-autistic ‘core’ cast. Both television series and books feature the same band of cartoon animals who come to life when Pablo picks up his pencils to help him understand different situations. The book illustrates how everyone is unique, each animal displaying different traits to which some children will no doubt relate and all children can learn to understand. Amongst others there is a giraffe with anxiety, an orang-utan who can’t keep still and a mouse who hates loud noises. Particularly effective is the way the book shows that it’s okay for people not to feel the same as one another. In this story, both Pablo and Llama learn that they do not like parties, and Pablo’s mother and friends fully understand and support them.
This empowering series competently reflects neurodiversity and like the TV series, has been developed by writers who are themselves on the autistic spectrum, and is based on real-life experiences.