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Formats
Hardcover Book Details
  • 04/2021
  • 9781945448928
  • 50 pages
  • $19.95
Wiggles, Stomps, and Squeezes Calm My Jitters Down

Picture Book; General Fiction (including literary and historical); (Market)

A Picture Book about Sensory Differences. The vibration in her feet when she runs, the tap-tap-tap of her fork on the table at mealtime, the trickle of cool water running over her hands--these are the things that calm her jitters down. This book is for anyone who has ever felt the need for a wiggle, stomp, or squeeze!
Reviews
Parker’s lively debut follows a neurodiverse child with heightened sensory experiences as she navigates her day. While eating breakfast, getting dressed, and playing at the park, the young protagonist explores her need to wiggle, tap, squeeze, stomp, and run, while her supportive mother works to help calm her. Before zipping around the kitchen, the unnamed narrator declares, “I get jitters down deep inside and it makes me want to run!” As the girl acclimates to the world around her, she discovers new techniques to relieve her jitters, including humming and running water. But when a sticky sandbox leads to sensory overload, she finds herself tested.

This is a lean, fast-paced, urgent tale with quick-moving prose. Rebecca Burgess’s illustrations are electric, complementing the high-speed storyline and finding a visual depiction of the sensations that accompany a heightened sensory experience. Sometimes, particularly in the sandbox scene, these images can become frightening–these portrayals of sensory overload may be scary for younger children. Most pages offer a lot of action, with some images achieving a balance between interesting and overwhelming, and others edging toward cluttered. For the most part, though, the illustrations are eye-catching, fresh, and emotionally engaging as they suggest the child’s experience. Squiggles, triangles, motion lines — she lives with a sensory cavalcade.

For a children’s book, Parker’s ideas are remarkably mature. None of the concepts are inappropriate for young audiences, but the lessons and values are as much for kids as for their parents. The sympathetic representation of the mother — who understands, encourages, and helps her daughter even through the most difficult of her urges — is a good reminder to parents who are raising neurodiverse children of the virtues of patience, calm, and sensitivity. Some of the story’s impact may be lost on toddler-age fans, but parents will find the message invaluable.

Takeaway: This fast-paced picture book is perfect for those looking to learn more about the daily experience of sensory differences.

Great for fans of: Jenn Bailey’s A Friend for Henry, Alicia Ortego’s Kindness is my Superpower.

Production grades
Cover: A
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: A-
Editing: A-
Marketing copy: A-

Formats
Hardcover Book Details
  • 04/2021
  • 9781945448928
  • 50 pages
  • $19.95

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