The Girl Who Thought in Pictures: The Story of Dr. Temple Grandin; Julia Finley Mosca, illustrated by Daniel Rieley
I’ll be honest, I had never heard of Temple Grandin and it was only by pure chance that I stumbled upon this book as I was browsing the non-fiction section at my local library. I am always drawn to the books that have the bright yellow sticker on their spines emblazoned with the words BIOG. I picked this book up and was immediately captivated by Temple’s remarkable story.
When Temple Grandin had not spoken by the age of three, doctors were quick to label her as different and in need of sending away to a ‘special home’. Temple was in fact a child with autism struggling to fit into a word that didn’t properly understand her. She had a very special mind, a mind that thought in pictures.
When she visited her aunt’s ranch she uniquely connected with farmyard animals, in particular, cows. Cows, like Temple, saw the world in pictures too! Through this connection and her careful observations, Temple would revolutionise the farming industry through her clever and animal-friendly inventions.
This picture book, told in rhyming prose, introduces readers to the quirky and unique scientist, Temple Grandin. We learn of her challenges as a child with autism, what life was like for a girl who had a mind that thought in pictures and how her brilliantly different way of thinking led to some wonderful new inventions.
Temple grew up in a time when little was known about autism, the difficulties that it presented and how best to support those with the condition. Thankfully, much has changed. Temple’s story and her experiences will help develop empathy and understanding in young readers and it is wonderful that children with autism can see themselves represented in a book. That the book is true and is about such an incredible lady is a huge bonus.
Simple illustrations and playful characters bring Temple’s story to life and I really enjoyed the visuals that show her thoughts and brain at work. An abundance of additional material includes: a personal letter to the reader from Temple, fun facts that arose from a chat between author and Temple, a detailed biography that is more suited to older readers and adults, a fully illustrated timeline that includes photographs and a further reading list.
Recommended for 6+.