It is a BLUE beach mystery When Theodore and his best friend Crocodile Duckhands go surfing, a HUGE wave torpedoes Theodore's blue sunglasses off his face As the pair comb the beach to find them, they discover mysterious obstacles along the way and realize they need YOU to be a great friend and use your voice to help them. Reminiscent of fan favorites The Monster At The End of This Book, and The Book With No Pictures, Theodore Bearkins brings the reader physically into the story, asking them to dig into the sand and to yell silly things out loud in order to help the characters find Theodore's sunglasses. It is the first installment in a full collection of Theodore Bearkins' fun and colorful adventures.
ABOUT THE BEAR:
Theodore is the FIRST-EVER autistic, non-speaking main character in a children's picture book series where autism is NOT the focus of his tale. He is a sweet, silly bear who doesn't speak much, but expresses his thoughts in lots of other ways. ALL kids find Theodore fun and engaging, whether they realize he has autism or not. Rather than depicting autism as a "superpower," Theodore normalizes ASD for children. He is a whole bear, with lots of different interests and adventures. Neurodivergent and neurotypical kids alike relate to his stories, feelings, and experiences, setting the example that we are all different, yet all the same.
ABOUT THE SERIES:
In reality, most people will only choose a book about autism if there is already someone with ASD in their life. These books are geared toward all children, particularly those who do not know someone with ASD, as a way to naturally introduce children to autism and inclusion in a subtle and non-obvious way, maybe even without them realizing it This allows them to experience a fun, silly story that they will remember, with values that they will organically absorb. Rather than promote inclusion head-on in an obvious fashion, these books create a natural discussion about differences and inclusivity, but it's not necessary to bring those topics to the reader's attention unless the adult chooses to do so. If not, the child will internalize the message just by reading the pages.
Theodore Bearkins is the perfect series for teaching inclusion and friendship in the classroom. The end of each book features a story discussion guide which includes tips on talking to early elementary children about autism, differences, and inclusion, if parents or teachers would like to utilize it. Included in the discussion guide are the different autistic traits Theodore might exhibit throughout the book. Unless the reader knows he's autistic, they will not realize the traits are common to people with autism, because they are things that anyone might do, making Theodore and his autistic traits relatable to all kids. In addition, each book in the series has a different color scheme and theme, creating a beautiful set of books that kids love to collect
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
A mom to three young children, Gina's middle child, seven-year-old Teddy, is autistic and minimally-speaking. She created this book series as a means to educate Teddy's peers and classmates about autism and now wants all kids to enjoy and learn from Theodore. She is a NYC music industry publicist and event marketer, who's worked with everyone from Carly Simon to Coldplay, turned autism advocate. She holds an MS in Counseling and Clinical Health Psychology from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, and is certified in Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Applied Behavior Analysis. She is the founder of the autism nonprofit, Families For Inclusion, of which a portion of the proceeds of book sales will be donated, and she currently resides on Long Island with her husband and their three children.