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Open: A Boy's Wayang Adventure
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Open: A Boy's Wayang Adventure

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  42 ratings  ·  23 reviews
Open is a 10-year-old boy with a curiosity for life and the things that happen around him. He is on the autism spectrum and loves to draw. He is especially good at drawing monkeys. When his class is selected to perform in a Chinese Opera based on the Monkey King and the Journey to the West, Open must find it in himself to overcome his obstacles and boldly step on stage. A ...more
Paperback, 112 pages
Published January 20th 2018 by Ethos Books
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Apr 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
A pleasant short read, it takes on a novel approach to sharing on the lives of people who seem to deviate from the 'norm'. Instead of an explicit, in-your-face portrayal of autism, autism was normalised and that aids in building empathy and understanding towards people with autism. These feelings that were brought out from the reader was also cleverly weaved in with rich descriptions that enlighten and do not bore. The characters were so endearing that makes it such an enjoyable read. More than ...more
Apr 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
A book I finished reading in a few hours, a book i didnt want to put down until i had reached the end and a book that made me want to keep flipping the page. "Open - A Boy's Wayang adventure" was a great read in the ways the story was written out and how the different elements came together to set the backdrop of this story - with the reference to "Journey to the West" and Monkey and how a little boy with autism world is portrayed. I like the idea of a cubby corner and the significance of each c ...more
May 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Open: A Boy's Wayang Adventure delivers an account of the everyday experiences and challenges of a child on the autism spectrum who is attending classes at a mainstream school. The book is centered on several important topics like inclusivity, friendship, love and pain. The plot is highly readable for young readers and does not shy away from explaining possibly difficult or dry concepts. Also, kudos to the author for adding a descriptive note on the autism spectrum disorder! At its core, Open, o ...more
Aug 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a marvellous children’s book very loosely based on the film ‘The Wayang Kids’. Written in the perspective of Open, the ten-year-old boy protagonist, it’s an easy yet gripping read. The book is about his life with his parents and friends, at home and at school and what they say and do.

This isn’t trivial because Open is autistic, which means his way of looking at and dealing with things is different at times. Readers who are ‘on the spectrum’ will relate – which, by the way, is why this bo
May 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Full Review:

This is a sweet, heart-warming story. This is Open’s story. Open is a 10 year old boy on the autism spectrum. This book encapsulates a small section of his life while his class is selected to perform in the Chinese Opera. Here we get a glimpse into Open’s life while he navigates the world we live in, trying to understand his parents, friends and the people around him.

This tiny book is written well, although the language is simple. Although it
Feb 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love this book for its vivid portrayal of characters. The narrator Open resonates with me. A must read book for anyone interested in raising awareness through children's books.
Sheena K
Apr 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Reading this for Autism Awareness Month -- this was a light and enjoyable read. It’s only about 100 pages long, but it packs quite a punch in terms of the messages and themes that it conveys. Benjamin, or Open, as he is known, is the 10 year old protagonist of this novel. Written from his perspective as a high-functioning autistic, the narrative details how he navigates the messy world of friendship, family and personal obstacles -- a challenge made harder by the fact of his neurodiversity in a ...more
Eunice Ying Ci
Apr 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
First of all, I want to commend Elizabeth Lim for the wonderful illustrations in the book. The cover’s also very well done. The minimalist pictures remind me a lot of the small characters that used to hide themselves in our PETS textbooks and were a lot of fun to discover. Secondly, it’s really great that classic narratives like Journey to the West are imaginatively reproduced in this way, not just in the way that Eva Wong Nava does it, but in the way that Oh Xiaotian (the father of our protagon ...more
Nur Rhyhan
Apr 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Naya Wong Eeva's 'Open' provides an insight into the life of Benjamin Oh (affectionately called Open by those around him), a child on the autism spectrum.

The book chronicles Open's life, as he grapples to understand his friends, family and himself. Open is often unable to understand the feelings of those around him intuitively. Instead, he systematically pieces together body language, tone of voice, and words to realise, for example, that his classmate was angry when Open hit him and that his fr
Qiu Ting
Apr 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Reading this for Autism Awareness Month - I'm thankful for a book giveaway with compliments from Ethos Books!

Open: A Boy's Wayang Adventure sheds light upon the myriad of encounters and emotions an autistic child experiences, detailing the kind of confusion, interests, habits and talents that one has.

In high stress situations when one feels a sense of discomfort or unfamiliarity, they are unable to cope due to having poorer social aptitude skills. So, they retreat by going into hiding to prote
Khin WT
Apr 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Told from the perspective of a 10-year-old boy named Ben, or Open as he prefers to be called, a child on the autism spectrum. He has a little bit of trouble making friends with his classmates, until the new student Paula starts trying to reach out to him.

This was such a precious book! I love how Eva Wong Nava captured the perspective of a young boy who is fascinated by the simplest things. From the little I know about autism, I think she managed to recreate their tendency to talk about facts tha
Sylvia Tangugu
Apr 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
There aren’t many books on autism from a prespective of a 10 year old autistic and I am glad that I read it !!

This book clearly illustrated how was his thinking process, how did he react and present his emotions.

His father was very dedicated and found some simple methods to communicate with him. With constant encouragement and great patient , Open could do more and overcome obstacles .

I love the emotion stickers which relates easily to kids not just autistic kids.

While reading , I found an i
Apr 12, 2018 rated it liked it
The narrative as told from Oh Ben (Open)’s point of view shows the difficulties a person with autism has in trying to process emotions expressed by others and to process simultaneous stimulations in his environment. However, even as he struggles with relating to his friends and mother, he knows where and who he can turn to for refuge and to feel secure. In his own way, he makes connections and relates to others, such as taking a liking to those who have two names - like him - including Sun Wukon ...more
Jun 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Open: A Boy's Wayang Adventure is an easy read that touches on a deep issue - the everyday experiences and challenges of a child on the autism spectrum. The reader gets a glimpse of how society views autism through the eyes of the protagonist Benjamin (or Open, as he is addressed by his family). Benjamin is bullied at school by classmates who do not understand his tics and the way he expresses himself. Yet, he remains purehearted and ultimately discovers true friendship, and experiences the joy ...more
Ririn Marina
Apr 19, 2018 rated it liked it
This book talks about inclusiveness for autistic children to be accepted into mainstream schools. It is important for other children to learn to accept their peers' differences.
From an adult reader's point of view, obviously this is just a work of fiction, not based on true experiences. Having worked with children with special needs, as a reader I personally expect more from this story, and would appreciate something that is more "realistic".
However, this book might appeal more for younger reade
Evelyn Bookless
May 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Open: A Boy's Wayang Adventure is a beautiful and fun story about a young boy, nicknamed Open, on a journey of self-discovery, set amidst the backdrop of a school production of The Monkey King.

I enjoyed hearing the story from Open’s perspective. This immediately drew me in, just as it would young readers. Open’s limits are tested as the story develops with the result of him gaining some lovely, new friendships.

As a qualified SEN teacher (and author), I felt that the story was a genuine reflectio
Apr 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Powerful in its simple poignancy, what struck me most in this story was the heart ache as one wonders how a mother could exhibit such lack of basic maternal warmth. But she too is confused, understandably, and this makes it doubly hard for her.

How Open’s mother reacts (or does not react, rather) to him intensifies the pathos, and the author leads us down the road of despair, but finally ends on a note of hope, for a desolate end might leave the many children who should rightly read this importa
May 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
There are many things we are not fully aware, and autism is one of them. Hopefully there are books like this one which are able to sharpen our social responsiveness.
As an European living in Asia, any book relating to the local culture is a valuable source of feelings and learning. Through the eyes of Open, a very special boy, we get to know a little bit more about Singapore and their mixed cultures and traditions. Page after page, we experience how we can combine the traditional Javanese puppet
Mark Antony
Apr 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I read this book to my American children over the course of a month. My sons were fascinated how it’s viewpoint treated children like they understood more in life than toys and tantrums. They were excited to hear about Chinese history and culture through the eyes of Open an autistic child who wants to draw and wishes his mother were more involved in his life. Open though “challenged” with this disorder still acts and speaks and expects no different than others. A blessed child with a strong fath ...more
Apr 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Open: A Boy’s Wayang Adventure is a simple story about a 10-year-old boy named Benjamin Oh who is on the autism spectrum. The story is written in the perspective of Benjamin(nicknamed Open). It gives the reader insights on how a young child with autism perceives things and humans relations around them. This story has elements of Chinese culture in the form of opera as Open’s father is passionate about Chinese Opera. Open was given a role in the Opera, entitled Monkey King and the Journey to the ...more
Apr 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow, I highly recommend everyone to read this! It's a short read but a real eye opener. Open: A Boy's Wayang Adventure offers an insight, through the eyes of a 10 year old, into the world of Autism Spectrum Disorders. It also shows how much of a support friends and family are.

Parents can also read this book to their children so that they learn and understand how other children may perceive the world around them and interact differently.

In support of Autism Awareness Month, this book is availab
Jul 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A heart-warming story of acceptance, and the strength of unconditional love. Easy read and wonderful introduction to the beautiful Chinese performing art called Wayang. Performing arts is one of the best ways to develop one's social development, if you happen to be on the autism spectrum. The author skillfully hints and advocates for the inclusion of all through the arts. For anyone who works very closely with this demographic group, they'd appreciate and savor the simplicity and cogent language ...more
Janessa Tay
rated it really liked it
May 17, 2018
Quah Chao Ying
Apr 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
*Autism Awareness*

Open: A Boy's Wayang Adventure is available exclusively at all Popular Bookstores until the end of April.

I highly recommend that all of you pick up this book to understand what goes through the mind of an autistic.

Open is a high functioning autistic who learns stuff through his own means and applies it in his life when necessary

Autistic lacks communication skills but this does not mean we should neglect them. As humans we eventually will become parents. We definitely do not wi
Eva Nava
Feb 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
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Eva Wong Nava lives between two worlds. She reads copiously and writes voraciously. She believes in connecting Asia to Europe and America, and finds immense pleasure in telling her English daughters stories of Singapore where she spent a big part of her childhood. She regales them with tales from Chinese myths and literature, imbuing her stories with personal experiences of watching the Chinese op ...more