Arna & Ruby written by Helen Eaton Illustrations by Kris Coley – Book Review

The author Helen Eaton writes about her background in back of this book, as does Illustrator Kris Coley. Both are absolutely outstanding and have come together to communicate Autism to the World in this magically brilliant book. It’s a real gem!

The illustrations are monochrome throughout, in a graphic book form of story telling. They are amazingly drawn with such detail, and each page is filled with a myriad of content. Absolutely and intricately professional!

The book follows the journey of a boy called Arna, and a girl called Ruby from two different families, and their different experiences of Autism. I love how it doesn’t just highlight Autism in terms of the children diagnosed, but also from the parents perspective – the questions they have, how they feel, their worries, anxieties, hopes and dreams for their children.

All too often books focus on the children diagnosed only, explaining what Autism means and how it affects the diagnosed person. However this book is expertly written also from the parents perspective, as they navigate their journey, from hearing the diagnosis, to including life at school.

I also love the way the author manages to convey the unique differences and nuances of how a male and female present – this is so very important and has been cleverly described and illustrated. The words and the illustrations both tell a story, both complimenting each other beautifully.

This book is a must for all parents, and indeed anyone who feels unsure or those struggling with understanding how autism can present. I read it thinking this would be useful for so many people, parents, their children, and would definitely have a place within educational settings to help with awareness, understanding and acceptance.

Whether you’ve read tons of books about Autism, or had training, I would say this book will definitely have something more to give. It’s unique in how it covers so many areas and situations of Autism in its format, and would be of particular great use for parents of / and children transitioning to Secondary school, older children, and mainstream settings.

Its a must on any readers list regarding Autism in any shape or form. Informative, open and honest, and representative of both a parents and older childs view. Skilfully illustrated on every corner of each page. Totally loved it!


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