Wednesday 22 January 2014

Waiting for Hugo

Waiting for Hugo by Amanda Niland, illustrated by Claire Richards (Windy Hollow Books)
HC RRP $ 25.95
ISBN 9781922081216
Reviewed by Anastasia Gonis

Amanda Niland has chosen an interesting subject for her book. Delicately handled and presented, this book shows that being different isn’t always a bad thing.

Hugo is four. But he knows that the neighbour’s wall has 392 bricks; that the trolley bay holds 52 trolleys, and the store’s refrigerator holds 487 bottles of milk. Hugo loves to count.

But it’s hard for his sister to wait while Hugo finishes counting. Nothing can make him hurry. So she waits and waits. She wishes he didn’t count all the time.

In rainbow watercolour illustrations and pen, and in carefully chosen text, we view the two sides of Autism Spectrum Disorder: the gifted side that belongs to Hugo, and the view of his behaviour by his sister, who loves Hugo dearly, but finds understanding his habits difficult. This is a title that should be found in all libraries and schools. It reflects on how some children are different and it’s this difference that makes them unique.

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