Lauren and her family drive to a farm in North Dakota to visit relatives and celebrate her Aunt Jossie’s wedding. But Lauren finds to her dismay that she is expected to do more than meet adults who hug her and invade her personal space. Lauren is going to be—horror of all horrors—a flower girl.
Lauren has Autism Spectrum Disorder, and she sees the world a little differently from other kids. What makes her comfortable are her routines and her coping mechanisms for her anxiety, which can get out of control in no time. So it is a challenge to deal with her rambunctious cousins, try on scratchy dresses, and follow impossible directions about going down aisles slowly-but-not-like-a-sloth and tossing pretend flowers around. So is it any surprise that Lauren flips her lid more than once? But while having an extended family seems like a lot of trouble at first, she’s about to learn just how much they can care for one another.
In Penguin Days, two award winners revisit second-grader Lauren from the acclaimed Slug Days with equal humor and empathy. Drawing on her experience teaching children with ASD, Sara Leach creates an energetic character who stomps eloquently off the page. And Rebecca Bender’s delightful black-and-white illustrations show in Lauren’s fraught situations and facial expressions all the love and assertiveness that could possibly dwell together in one unique little person.
About the Author:
Sara Leach hails from Whistler, BC, where she loves to ski, hike and bike. Her middle grade novel Count Me In won the Red Cedar Book Award for 2012/13. In addition to being a children's author, she is also an elementary school teacher-librarian. She has had the privilege of teaching several amazing students with Asperger Syndrome (now classified under Autism Spectrum Disorder), and her experience working with them inspired Slug Days.
Author/Illustrator Rebecca Bender is best known for her award-winning Giraffe And Bird books. Her other publications include Slug Days, How Do You Feel? and Peach Girl (illustrations). Rebecca graduated from the Ontario College of Art and Design with the medal for illustration and is now an art director and designer. She lives in Burlington, Ontario, with her husband and two children.