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Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite
Emery Jack and Jace met on the park bench, and they decided to play together. Playing with Emery Jack did not go too well for Jace because he repeated every single thing Jace said and followed him everywhere. No matter what Jace told him, and did, Emery Jack was there right beside him. Jace told his father how annoying Emery Jack was and how he copied everything he said. Jace's father advised him to be kind to Emery Jack and not be upset by his copycat behavior. The next day Jace saw Emery Jack the Copycat in the park, and he came running to Jace. They played on the seesaw for a long time until they were both exhausted. When Jace shouted at Emery Jack, asking him not to copy him, Jack started crying. Jack's father explained to Jace that is how Jack learned new words, by repeating what he heard other people say. His dad told Jace it was called echolalia, and Jace was sorry that he yelled at Emery Jack.
Emery Jack The Copycat: A Story About Autistic Echoing by Dezi Shepperd is a beautiful story of friendship and accepting differences. The characters of Emery Jack and Jace are real and relatable, and children will be able to understand them well. They are also introduced to echolalia and what it means in an interesting way without making it too difficult to understand. The illustrations are colorful and delightful and will captivate readers with their liveliness. They make the characters and the concept tangible and the book more exciting to young readers. It is a good storybook for parents and tutors to use for read-aloud and storytelling sessions to encourage children to accept others for their differences and uniqueness and to learn about echolalia.