Maria and Me

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 12 Dec 2017

Member Reviews

I support most any effort to help neurotypical people better understand kids on the spectrum, especially from people who live it. An intimate and individual presentation.
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I am clear, by all the books about there about Autism, that having books about autism is a very good thing.  It is important to show that people with autism should be part of every day life, and that it is not the end of the world to have autism.

And I think that is what this book is trying to show, in this some-what sweet look at a vacation that the father and the daughter took to the Canary Islands.  

But it felt very disjointed, and having his daughter screaming on the whole flight would have made me want to scream at her, so the father has the patience of a saint.

Thanks to Netgalley for making this book available for an honest review.
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'Maria and Me: A father, a daughter' by Miguel Gallardo is a graphic novel about a father and his daughter with autism. 

Miguel and his daughter Maria go on a vacation.  She is 12 and lives with her mother, so Miguel loves the time he can spend with her.  She has autism, and this can cause those around them to stare and not understand.  Maria relates to the world around her through the people she meets.  She remembers all their names even if they only have briefly met.  Miguel keeps a sketchbook of these people.  

I liked this look into what a vacation looks like with someone like Maria.  Miguel shows love and patience with his daughter, and he is never upset over what she does, but accepts it all as part of who she is.  I love that the book included a photo of father and daughter.

I received a review copy of this graphic novel from Jessica Kingsley Publishers and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you for allowing me to review this graphic novel.
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Good story that is about the experience of a father and his autistic daughter during a trip to the beach and how they spend their time there. We see the world through Maria's eyes, and we get to know the reactions she has to everything around her. It is a very visual book because of this, and also because her dad draws beautiful images which show what she's like and what they do that day. It's a short book but very well thought out by the author in order to show people their experiences and also show who his daughter is in spite of her autism. The book is full of onesty, irony and humour about living with a disability. As a person with physical disabilities, I really ideantified with people's reactions to Maria and her disability. I'm looking forward to reading book 2 about when Maria is 20 years old. 

Thanks very much to Miguel Gallardo and Jessica Kingsley Publishers, the publisher of the English language edition, for an eARC of the title via NetGalley.
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Maria and Me by Miguel Gallardo is a free NetGalley e-comicbook that I read in mid-September.

Gallardo uses his sketches as a way to communicate and praise his daughter, Maria, for her uncanny ability to memorize the name of every one she meets. He and she spend time together on annual summer trips between Barcelona and the Canary Islands by plane (and it means a lot to see that Maria and I have similar difficulties staying still during air travel) and Gallardo's red & black ink sketches (and ingenious hand-drawn pictograms to forecast and schedule daily activities) openly delight in both the Comfort and warmth of her presense, as well as how quick Maria is to notice both praise and rejection.
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Written in an unusual format, Maria and Me by Miguel Gallardo is a diary of a father and his daughter with autism. The writing is somewhat confusing at first and rightly so. It’s a written account of a father’s experience managing his child’s autistic condition. I think its told in a very interesting and loving way that makes a very complicated and difficult subject more approachable and conversational without making it trivial. The story includes illustrations throughout demonstrating reactions and emotions of Maria, and onlookers that gawk at her behavior. This seemed to be a great pain point of Gallardo’s. One that’s mentioned in the story as being a “wall of fear of the unknown.” This story was also informative. It was an eye-opening account of what it’s like for parents of children that have autism. 

I feel it’s an emotional story that informs its reader while highlighting the very real problems and situations that parents of autistic children experience. The story attempts to disprove the notion that children with autism are distant and cold and I feel that it accomplishes this goal. Gallardo demonstrated how loving, kind and well-liked Maria was wherever she went and showed that children with autism are capable of a wider range of emotion than was previously thought. 

At the very end of the book there is a touching photo of Miguel Gallardo and his daughter Maria (who is now an adult). Overall, I feel story was slightly less engaging than I would have hoped, but I would recommend this to someone seeking information about children with autism spectrum disorder.
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