Armond goes to a party – a book about Asperger’s and friendship

By Nancy Carlson and her friend Armond Isaak

Armond goes to a party – a book about Asperger’s and friendship

By Nancy Carlson and her friend Armond Isaak

Illustrations by Nancy Carlson

Publisher: Free Spirit Publishing, Minneapolis.  2014

Reading age 5-9 years

The title of the story book “Armond goes to a party – a book about Asperger’s and friendship”  by Nancy Carlson and her friend Armond Isaak is self-explanatory.  The storyline is simple and linear.  The main character of Armond appears to be based on the “friend” in this authoring duo.  The reader is allowed into Armond’s private thoughts and experiences as he prepares for, and attends, a friend’s party.   The story allows the reader to experience the party from Armond’s point of view and describes Armond’s sensory experiences with wit and humour, such as when the baby brother’s smelly nappy makes him feel sick, or when the crowd of children becomes overwhelming and Armond tugs his friend’s Mothers’ skirt saying “I need a break”.  At this point it is easy to empathize with Armond’s experience and enjoy joining him in a quiet room where he can relax and play lego.   The book ends with Armond’s honest and positive assessment of the party and his part in it, which in turn allows connection between himself and his friend. 

The full-page colour illustrations are bright and busy, allowing the reader to see the chaos of the party from Armond’s point of view. They feature boys and girls from a racially diverse group, rendered in a cartoon style.  Attention is paid to the expressions on Armond’s face.

The book contains an end note to “grown ups” about Asperger’s Syndrome and friendship. This contains quotes from the real-life Armond about his experience of Aspergers, interspersed with explanations and tips for adults to assist children with Aspergers in social situations.

NB: it is the reviewer’s understanding that in 2021 Aspergers is currently considered be part of the Autism Spectrum Disorder, and not a separate diagnosis. Therefore  it might be necessary or desirable  for the reader to adjust some of the terminology whilst reading or discussing this story.

This is a link to a youtube video of “Armond goes to a party- a book about Asperger’s and friendship” being read aloud.

Review of The Classroom Mystery- a book about ADHD by Dr Tracy Packiam Alloway

The Classroom Mystery – a book about ADHD

DrTracy Packiam Alloway
Illustrated by Ana Sanfelippo
ISBN-13: 9781786035806
QED publishing 2019
Reviewed by Cath Young

THE CLASSROOM MYSTERY – a book about ADHD, is a light-hearted and strength-based introduction to ADHD, which may help children understand themselves or other children they encounter.  Featuring full page illustrations and a story set within a school context, it is clearly aimed at early primary school children.   The story centres around Izzy, a girl who is so intent on solving the classroom mystery that she cannot attend to the teacher’s lesson.  Eventually the teacher allows all the class to take a break while Izzy connects pieces of information together to solve the mystery of the pet rabbit’s missing food.   The story itself makes no mention of ADHD, but rather tells of Izzy’s experience and behaviour in the classroom as she tries to focus. For example, we read about Izzy tapping her foot, wiggling in her seat, snapping her hair clip and climbing on her desk, while she thinks about the mystery rather than the lesson.  The teacher in the story becomes a little frustrated saying “What on earth are you doing?” but adjusts to Izzy by allowing the whole class to investigate outside and congratulates Izzy when the mystery is solved at the conclusion to the story.  Izzy’s classmates show enthusiasm for her powers of deduction at the end of the story.  The final two pages of the book offer notes for parents and children about ADHD, which is described as a learning difficulty, and discussion points that the adult reader may wish to raise with their class or individual child.   

The bright and slightly retro look illustrations are inclusive, featuring cartoon like characters with different colours of hair and skin. Attention has been paid to the expressions on the children’s faces in the various scenes and these would make good discussion points. The pages are mat and the font is dyslexia friendly on a soft pastel background.

You can hear Dr Packiam talk about her books and neurodiversity on her website:

Tracy Packiam Alloway PHD