About The Book
Theodore Bearkins Lost His Blue Sunglasses, is the first installment in a full series of Theodore Bearkins’ fun and colorful adventures. It’s a BLUE beach mystery! When Theodore Bearkins and Crocodile Duckhands go surfing, a HUGE wave torpedoes Theodore’s blue sunglasses off his face! As Theodore and Croc comb the beach to find them, they discover mysterious obstacles along the way and realize they need YOUR help! Can YOU be a great friend and use your voice to help Theodore? Reminiscent of fan favorites The Monster At The End of This Book, and The Book With No Pictures, Theodore Bearkins brings the reader physically into the story, asking them to dig into the sand and to yell silly things out loud in order to help the characters find Theodore’s sunglasses.
About The Bear
Theodore Bearkins is the first autistic, non-speaking main character in a children’s book series where autism is NOT the focus of his tale. He is a sweet, silly bear who doesn’t speak much, but expresses his thoughts in lots of other ways. ALL kids find Theodore fun and engaging, whether they realize he has autism or not. Rather than depicting autism as a “superpower,” Theodore normalizes ASD for children. He is a whole bear, with lots of different interests and adventures. Neurodivergent and neurotypical kids alike relate to his stories, feelings, and experiences, setting the example that we are all different, yet all the same.
About The Series
The aim of the Theodore Bearkins series is to naturally introduce children to autism and inclusion in a subtle and non-obvious way. This allows them to experience a fun, silly story that they will remember, with values that they will organically absorb. Rather than promote inclusion head-on in an obvious fashion, these books create a natural discussion about differences and inclusivity, but it’s not necessary to bring those topics to the reader's attention unless the adult chooses to do so. If not, the child will internalize the message just by reading the pages.
Theodore Bearkins is the perfect series for teaching inclusion in the classroom too. The end of each book features a story discussion guide which includes tips on talking to early elementary children about autism, differences, and inclusion, if parents or teachers would like to utilize it. Included in the discussion guide are the different autistic traits Theodore might exhibit throughout the book. Unless the reader knows he's autistic, they will not realize the traits are common to people with autism, because they are things that anyone might do, making Theodore and his autistic traits relatable to all kids. In addition, since my son LOVES his colors, each book in the series has a different color scheme and theme, creating a beautiful set of books that kids love to collect!
About The Author
My name is Gina and I am a mom to three amazing kids. My middle child, eight-year-old Teddy, is profoundly autistic and minimally-speaking. I created a book series about a bear named Theodore Bearkins as a means to educate Teddy's peers and classmates about autism and neurodiversity and I've now decided to publish the series for all kids to enjoy and learn from! I hope you find Theodore Bearkins and his silly stories engaging, and that his message of kindness resonates to you and the children in your life!!! Thank you!!!
Gina DeGregorio-Sonbert is a NYC music industry publicist and event marketer, who’s worked with everyone from Carly Simon to Coldplay, turned autism advocate, non-profit founder, and children's book author. She holds an MS in Counseling and Clinical Health Psychology from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, and is certified in Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Applied Behavior Analysis. She is the founder of the autism nonprofit, Families For Inclusion, of which a portion of the proceeds of book sales are donated. She currently resides on Long Island with her husband Michael and their three children, Maxwell (10), Teddy (8), and Penny (6).
About The Illustrator
Claudie C. Bergeron is an award-winning illustrator from Quebec, Canada, currently living in the UK. For the past several years, her work has been published all over the world in books and magazines. Many of her picture books have received awards from Kirkus Reviews, Purple Dragonfly and Moonbeam. When not working, you can find her birdwatching or walking in nature.