As a children's book author, Pete Di Lisi is especially unique in that he is a children's entertainer and magician as well as a teaching assistant for children with special needs.
I feel this part of his life calls for special mention because so many times children with special needs are not included as part of the "children mix" in a way that normalizes them and allows them to be accepted as “just children with children's needs and sensibilities”, rather than "just special children with special needs."
I thought it interesting when Pete created his book of Chico stories about a monkey facing challenges that he did so with the understanding and sensibility that no matter what physical and or mental difficulties children may be facing that inside they still could feel and receive joy from achievment.
He was written his stories giving his monkey character Chico a "can do" attitude to help children understand that many challenges can be overcome with work and determination.
This I hope these stories will encourage parents and educators to think about what special needs children might be able to achieve and what that achievement might mean to them rather than just what limitations they face.
I think the Chico stories are well worth a read and because of their simplicity, they can be appreciated on many levels.