My Friend Daniel Doesn't Talk by Sharon Longo Illustrations by Jane Bottomley.
When outgoing Ryan meets Daniel, a boy who is too afraid to talk in school or other places outside of his home, he befriends the silent boy, defending him in school to the other children. Their friendship grows, and Daniel feels comfortable enough to talk to his new friend. Ryan's tendency to 'talk too much' enables him to help Daniel in the classroom, and he hopes for the day when his friend will be able to talk in school so that the other children may get to know the 'real' Daniel. In the meantime, he is willing to continue to be a friend to Daniel until that day.' -
This beautifully illustrated story book is for children with severe shyness, social anxiety or selective mutism to see that they can make a friend like Ryan. It is also a helpful tool for friends of children like Daniel to understand why these children are unable to talk in certain settings. - The theme - of accepting others who are different while trying to emphasise with them - is a universal one, and therefore this book may be enjoyed by all children aged from 4 to 8. - While the story should not be read to the class while the child is present or without his or her permission, this book is an invaluable tool for teachers trying to understand selective mutism, and wanting to explain it to their students. - For comprehensive advice and information on selective mutism, please see 'The Selective Mutism Resource Manual' (Speechmark, 2001). BMA Medical Book Competition Winner Highly Commended in the BMA Patient Information Awards (Printed Materials), 'My Friend Daniel Doesn't Talk' really impressed the judges: 'This leaflet has been written by a parent of a child with selective mutism who has written numerous articles on the subject. It is written for children to help explain some of the issues around children who 'don't talk' and has been beautifully produced and introduces a sensitive topic via a lovely story about friendship which is a great way to engage with children and inform them about a subject without making it 'an issue' and risk stigmatising a child even more... I loved the illustrations and the characters were portrayed with a gentleness and sensitivity which made the story very likeable. The humour in the story is subtle and effective and unlike many 'stories with a message' written for children, this book is a pleasurable read in its own right, and stands up as a lovely story book, but with the added bonus of including the universal theme of 'being different' and in particular providing a basic explanation for selective mutism. I really loved this book. What really came through, is that it was written with real thought, care and from someone who really understands and empathises with the subject matter. Well done!'