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Point to Happy

April 23, 2011

Point to Happy
written by Miriam Smith, Afton Fraser, edited by Toni Giannone
photographed by Margo Smithwick
Workman Publishing, 2011
picture book, non-fiction

April is Autism Awareness Month. Many of you are quite aware of autism – either because you have a child on the spectrum or know someone who does. For those of you who don’t know about life on the spectrum, ask a friend who knows and listen with empathy. Trust me, most parents will be glad you’re interested in their life, their story, and their struggles.

I’m thrilled to finally see a book like Point to Happy! It’s a fantastic interactive picture book designed  for kids on the autism spectrum – which are a lot of kids as you know. Children use the attached yellow hand pointer to respond as they’re reading the book. Each page asks for the child to point to something or do something. For example:

The boy is happy.

Point to happy.


The girl wants a drink.

The girl says please.

Point to please.


Daddy hugs.

Point to a hug.

Give me a hug.


What important skills! I couldn’t recommend this book enough – and quite frankly, it would be great for all children, wouldn’t it?

Miriam Smith, and her daughter, Afton Fraser, created this book to help Afton’s son Griffin, who is on the spectrum. Watch them talk about the book in this YouTube video.

Point to Happy addresses social cues, routines of the day, emotions like happy and sad, actions like hug, things to eat, loud and quiet, close and near, playing, toys, colors, and body parts. It also includes two make-your-own pages at the end to personalize.

Book Play: Write down different emotions on slips of paper — angry, sad, happy, confused, silly, frustrated, etc. Draw an emotion, act out the emotion and tell a story when you’ve felt that emotion.

WIN a copy of Point to Happy! E-mail your name and address (to make book delivery faster) to with “Point to Happy” in the subject line. We will randomly select one lucky winner to receive a copy of the book. Deadline for entry is midnight MST on May 6, 2011.

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