The school’s athletic games are tomorrow, and Juan claps to get the Jitters out. Juan’s Jitters make his tummy swoosh and swirl when there are too many people, noise, and changes in his routine. Juan’s teacher, Mr. Lee, comes up with an excellent idea to help Juan keep the Jitters out during Griffith Academy’s First Mathletic Games.
Written by Aneta Cruz, Juan Has the Jitters is about an autistic boy who claps and uses mathematical thinking to calm his nerves during a special event at school. His teacher and classmates are amazingly supportive and kind. Cruz smooth writing style discusses neurodiversity and inclusion with warm storytelling. It also invites the reader to count and sort things with Juan as he self-soothes, making the book interactive. Yamamoto’s lovely illustrations are simple, colorful, and show diverse characters.
Even though I would have liked the book to include back matters about autism and neurodiversity, I believe Juan Has the Jitters is a great picture book about neurodiversity and inclusion to add to classrooms and libraries’ collections.