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About the Book:
Grant the Jigsaw Giraffe was written by Julie Coy Manier and illustrated by Grant Manier. The book is about a baby giraffe named, Grant, who was born with puzzle shaped spots instead of regular giraffe spots. The other animals at the zoo realize how different he looks from the other giraffes and over time, they realize that he is different in many ways. As Grant grows, he and the other animals realize just how special and talented he is! He makes incredible art pieces for the zoo with recycled materials.
This book mirrors the life story of the illustrator for this book, Grant Manier.
Why I Love It:
I love this book for so many reasons. My children, ages 2.5 and 5, are at the perfect age to learn inclusion, to appreciate differences (instead of being fearful of them) and learn to value diversity in every shape and kind. This book teaches children that those that may look, think or act different have great minds and CAN do many incredible things!
The book also reinforces to educators that education should focus on a child’s strengths (what they can do) instead of their weaknesses (what they can’t do).
About the Author / Illustrator:
The illustrator of this book, Grant Manier, lives with autism and has had an obsession with paper since he was a child. Instead of suppressing his behavior, Julie (the author), helped re-direct his enthusiasm to create spectacular art work. Over the last several years, together they have worked together to develop Grant’s Eco-Art business.
Julie was inspired by the amazing young man that Grant grew into, that she decides to write this children’s book about Grant’s journey, but instead Grant is a Giraffe. See www.JigsawGrant.com or www.GrantEcoArt.com for more information.
At the beginning of this book, there is also beautiful dedication from Dr. Temple Grandin, who also lives with autism and was listed by Time Magazine as one of their 100 Most Influential People in the World. (I watched a documentary on her awhile back and she is so incredible and inspiring!) She has met Grant and watched him grow in confidence through his artwork over the past several years. Her dedication is inspiring.
This book is truly more than just about autism – it has lessons for people of all ages and backgrounds – we need to appreciate the differences in everyone around us!