HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: The Princess and the Ruby: An Autism Fairy Tale
Author: Jewel Kats
Illustrator: Richa Kinra
Publisher: Loving Healing Press, 2013
ISBN-13: 978-1615991938 (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 161599193X (Hardcover)
ISBN-13: 978-1615991754 (Paperback)
ISBN-10: 1615991751 (Paperback)
Related websites: http://www.JewelKats.com (author), http://www.LHPress.com (publisher)
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Reading level: Ages 6-8
Rating: ***** 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Kats, Jewel. The Princess and the Ruby: An Autism Fairy Tale (published in 2012 by Loving Healing Press, 5145 Pontiac Trail, Ann Arbor, MI 48105). Have you ever known a person with autism? Do you even know what autism is? One icy-cold winter night, a young girl, about eight, shows up at the king and new queen’s castle doorstep, wearing a dark, purple jacket, carrying a black pouch filled with a collection of plain rocks, and not uttering even a single word. She twirls, spins in circles, sways back and forth, and plays with her rocks. The king believes that she is his long-lost autistic daughter by his first wife who had died. The new queen, however, refuses to believe the king’s claims and develops a devious plan involving a ruby placed under the girl’s mattress to test if she is really a princess. What will the child do? Is she really who she appears to be?
Autism or autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a general term for a group of complex neural disorders of brain development characterized, in varying degrees, by impaired social interaction and verbal and non-verbal communication, and by restricted, repetitive, or stereotyped behaviors. It may have a strong genetic basis, there is possible association with agents such as rare mutations that cause birth defects, and some controversial environmental causes, such as heavy metals, pesticides, and/or childhood vaccines, have been proposed. There is increasing suspicion that autism is a complex disorder whose core aspects have distinct causes that often co-occur. Researchers now think that there is no one cause of autism just as there is no one type of autism.
Even though I have no personal experience with autism, as a former board member of a homeschooling conference, I have spoken with special needs presenters who deal with autism and have talked with parents who are trying to educate their autistic children. The Princess and the Ruby by author Jewel Kats, with illustrator Richa Kinra’s colorful drawings, is a modern twist on Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Princess and the Pea” that provides some much-needed, age-appropriate literature for girls with Autism Spectrum Disorder. My friend V. S. Grenier says that it “not only shows how others judge something they do not understand, but how someone with Autism can see, feel, and do things one might not expect.” A fun story and educational information are both woven together in this wonderful tale that teaches children to be comfortable in their own skin and to respect the differences of others. Kindle and ePub editions are also available. Another book by Jewel Kats in Loving Healing Press’s Fairy Ability Tales series is Cinderella’s Magical Wheelchair.