Every now and then you discover a new publisher with the most wonderful books. This is just such a book, The Girl Who Thought in Pictures: The Story of Dr. Temple Grandin. If you haven’t yet heard about this special woman, you should find out all you can; she’s incredibly inspirational!
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We first heard about Temple Grandin while I was taking the course, Learn To Find Your Creative Self….Quickly and after watching the movie trailer (yes, her life has been made into a movie), we watched the entire movie together as a family. So when we were offered the opportunity by Innovation Press to review this children’s book, we just had to do it.
Kallista loves this book and is going to use it for a book report she’s has coming up on great inventors!
Dr. Grandin herself provided some of the photographs used in this book and sat down with the author to make sure it was as it should be. She has even written a letter for the readers of this book.
The Girl Who Thought In Pictures explains how a young Temple Grandin, who was diagnosed with autism early in her life and didn’t speak until she was three, later became a public speaker with three college degrees and changing animal welfare across the USA and beyond.
In the 1950s it was common for children with autism to be institutionalised, but Temple’s mother was having none of that! She insisted that Temple stay home and lead a ‘normal’ life. This decision led to Temple meeting Mr. Carlock, the teacher who believed in her and became her mentor for many years. If everyone had a Mr. Carlock in their life, the world would be the most wonderful place!
Temple spent a summer at her aunt’s farm and felt at home amongst the animals and began to understand them as they both thought in pictures. It was a more concrete way of thinking rather than the abstract way most of our brains function. This let to her going into animal science studies and even developing a unique curved cattle chute that was a more humane way for cattle to be moved without undue stress.
Temple was determined and stubborn and never let anyone stand in her way of knowledge or creativity. She was a woman before her time.
The book itself explains some of the attributes of autism that are common, such as not liking to be touched, being extra-sensitive with her physical environment, as well as viewing the world around her differently. This is all done in a lovely prose that makes the story more fun to read for children (and adults).
This book shares the message that each person is different:
So, here is the lesson:
Feeling odd or offbeat?
Being DIFFERENT might just
be what makes you so NEAT!
Don’t let doubt hold you back,
not for one minute more.
STAND TALL, and like Temple,
MARCH RIGHT THROUGH THAT DOOR!
This is a wonderful message to leave children with, and it can even give us adults some encouragement not to let things stand in the way of what we want. Let’s take our creative ideas and give them wings. Let’s believe in one another and remember that if everyone thought in the same way or had the same opinions, the world would be a most boring place without anything new or exciting in it.
In her life (so far), Dr. Temple Grandin has:
- Been inducted into the Cowgirl Hall of Fame
- Been inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Science
- Been named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people
- Has a doctoral degree in animal science
- Has had a movie made about her life
- Wrote Animals in Translation, a New York Times bestseller
- And she’s still going strong!
So let’s encourage our children to be inventive; listen to them, support them, and help them achieve their potential in life. Us homeschoolers are also in a unique position to be able to foster our children’s interests, and our children don’t have to fit in a box, let’s take advantage of that!