Why Johnny Doesn't Flap
Johnny is different. He is never exactly on time, he can't seem to stick to a routine and he often speaks in cryptic idioms. Johnny is neurotypical, but that's OK.
A picture book with a difference, Why Johnny Doesn't Flap turns the tables on common depictions of neurological difference by drolly revealing how people who are not on the autistic spectrum are perceived by those who are. The autistic narrator's bafflement at his neurotypical friend's quirks shows that 'normal' is simply a matter of perspective.
Clay Morton is Associate Professor of English and Director of the Honors Program at Middle Georgia State University.
Gail Morton (MLIS) is a Public Services Librarian at Mercer University. Clay and Gail research issues of neurodiversity, particularly in relation to higher education. They are parents to a child with autism and are both advocates for the neurodiversity movement.
This is a wonderful wheeze! Johnny is neuro-typical, while the story teller is autistic. We see Johnny from his point of view, and to him, Johnny is a cause of bafflement... However, our narrator says his mum explains that everyone is different, and just because Johnny is different doesn't mean they can't be good friends. Which they are... The funny and clever thing about this approach is that the narrator seems to feel slightly superior to Johnny, and it is interesting and possibly unique in a picture book to show how autistic people look at those of us who don't share their outlook. A brilliant and highly original book with lovely warm illustrations.
Julia Bascom, author, The Obsessive Joy of Autism
A delightful departure from the norm, Why Johnny Doesn't Flap flips the script and models empathy, acceptance, and compassion for that oddest of neurologies, the neurotypical. This irreverent subversion is a breath of fresh air, and reminds us that there's not a right way to have a brain, and that 'normal' is in the eye of the beholder. We're better off with a dose of the Mortons' wry perspective.
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