The Book That Made Me: Philip Reeve 16/10/19
Through the Eyes of Us
Kya and Martha are like ‘two different colours sitting on a beautiful rainbow’. They are both on the autistic spectrum, but this certainly does not mean that they are the same.
In this sequel to Roberts’ first book about his daughter, we are introduced to her friend Martha, highlighting similarities, but also their many differences. We see them both enjoying school, but, while Martha tends to be chatty and outgoing, Kya takes time to process questions and likes to quietly repeat words. At lunchtime, they enthusiastically devour their spaghetti, but with Martha clearly struggling to know when she is full. And at bedtime, while they both like routines, Kya just wants to keep on moving while Martha knows when she needs to get to sleep. Autism is a spectrum, and no two experiences are identical.
Charmingly brought to life with exuberant illustrations by Hannah Rounding, this is a book which shares valuable autism-related experience, such as how certain activities may stimulate and why different textures can appeal. Above all, it is a beautiful book, rich in its universal sense of childhood fun and friendship, as we witness two children’s affection for each other, their classmates and their families.