Anthony Best by Davene Fahy
Sometimes a re-visit is necessary to re-discover great children’s books. Going through my book closet I was pleasantly surprised to re-discover Anthony Best by Davene Fahy, speech/language pathologist. Many children’s storybooks by speech/language pathologists are for teaching specific speech and language skills. This book has a broader purpose – to teach empathy for children with disabilities.
Ms. Fahy uses a young girl, Hannah, to explain to the reader why Anthony has some unusual characteristics that others will not understand. Just what is it about Anthony that would cause him to not be the “best” boy? Is he really a bad boy because he screams when he hears loud noises? What can Hannah do to encourage Anthony to play with her? Does she have to spin like Anthony? What does Hannah discover in the end that shows that Anthony really is Anthony “Best”? I love the ending where he is showing his “BEST”.
Davene Fahy provides a couple of pages in the back that gives some of the characteristics of persons with Asperger’s Syndrome. Several websites are provided for parents to visit for additional information.This book should be in each school library for easy access to teachers to read to their young students. It can be a helpful book for parents as well as for speech/language pathologists and teachers.