Author(s): Deborah Kelly; Gwynneth Jones (Illustrator)
Zane is different to other kids. He has his own made-up language. He likes to line things up. And he is frightened of things that don't seem to bother other people -- like the colour black. His father gets frustrated and angry with Zane. His mother tries hard to explain things to him. But nothing seems to work. Zane just scrunches himself up into a ball and screams. Things are looking pretty bleak for Zane and his family; that is, until Zane's big sister starts to draw a chalk rainbow at the top of the front steps ... The Chalk Rainbow explores difference and diversity through a family living with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). It's also a story of unconditional love, of trust and of learning to look at the world through the eyes of others. The story is told by Zane's older sister in a way that young children can easily relate to. The ending is uplifting as all members of the family learn to look at things differently and find a way to move forward together.
"the arcs of imaginary rainbow are as bright and present as the actual chalked part, and they convey a buoyant sense of triumph as they lengthen to fill the pictures with light and color."
Deborah Kelly is the author of several popular picture books for children as well as a chapter book series. She also writes Haiku poetry, inspired by living in Japan for two years. Born in New Zealand, Deb now lives in Australia with her husband and two children. Gwynneth Jones drew all through her maths book at school, so left to study art at TAFE and then majored in Plant and Wildlife Illustration at the University of Newcastle. Since then, Gwynneth has been imagining and drawing madly, exhibiting and holding market stalls, and creating picture books.