I am working with several preschooler who are on the autism spectrum. One of my goals is to increase their attention to and learning from great picture books. I use the books for description, re-telling, answering wh-questions, talking about the beginning, middle and end of the story, and taking the perspective of a character in the story and acting out the page while giving possible dialogue.
This week I used two books of a similar theme: “Please, Louise! “by Wishinsky and Gay and “Beatrice Doesn’t Want To” by Laura Numeroff. Both stories involve an annoying younger sister who bothers her brother in effective ways such as continuous talking, tapping, staring, and clinging. Beatrice was a simpler story with less complex drawings so a good place to start. We crossed our arms in defiance acting out her stubbornness to go to the library. Kids had fun giving dialogue with some prompts–“I don’t want to go” and “Stop that!” They especially loved the staring and tapping to annoy the other character. Louise has a little twist when her brother, Jake, has been pushed to the limit and says, “I wish you were a dog!” When a Louise disappears and a dog comes around the corner there is an opportunity to explore more abstract language. With higher level learners, have them compare the two stories talking about same and different.