Has anyone ever read or heard of the book called The Twits? It was written in 1980 by Raold Dahl who also wrote James and the Giant Peach. What a strange name. It's rumoured that Dahl had Asperger's syndrome although I couldn't find anything definite,but his writing does point to some of the associated traits. I hadn't heard of this book until recently when Jacob's teacher read it to his class. For homework recently, Jacob was asked to write a summary about the story of The Twits. But it hasn't exactly been easy. Jacob had refused to write about the book up until yesterday. So I decided to look up the book myself.
And I see why Jacob refuses to talk or write about it. When mom and I asked him to write a two sentence summary about the book, he refused and said "I don't want to write bad words." I know his teacher wouldn't read a book with bad words in it to a grade 2 class. Again we asked about the book. Jacob then said "It's full of bad language not suitable for children." Shannon and I were wondering what type of book it was? It's difficult to get Jacob to think creatively sometimes and The Twits seemed to stop his creative juices from flowing completely. So i had to read the book for myself to see what the big deal was..
And let me say, what a book. It's a kids book about 2 twits who are constantly being mean to each other. And they are also cruel to animals. This would put Jacob off right away because he loves animals. The twits like to trick birds into flying into glue covered trees so they can make a bird pie. Jacob doesn't eat too many different things and the thought of a bird pie would disgust him. The book does contain some bad words like stupid and twit, but nothing too bad. The Twits love playing pranks devious pranks on each other. One put a glass eye in the others beer, then in retaliation the female Twit puts a frog in the male Twits bed. It just goes back and forth getting worse each time. the male Twit even goes as far as gluing wood pieces to the bottom of all the furniture to make the female twit think she's shrinking. What a pair of, well, Twits.
Then the fun part comes. The birds and monkeys exact some revenge on the Twits for all their previous misdeeds. When the Twits go out, the animals glue all the Twits furniture to the ceiling of their house. When the Twits are returning home, two birds drop glue bombs on their heads. And when the Twits see their furniture on the ceiling, they decide to stand on their heads and they get stuck that way. Eventually the Twits fall into themselves and all that is left is the clothes the Twits were wearing. And all the animals live happily ever after.
What a creepy story. It's weird because Jacob said the book was full of bad language. But the worst words in it were stupid and twit. It was full of mean and gross things, but nothing towards people, only animals. So the book could stir up some negative emotions, but it wasn't over the top. Now that I think of it, I don't recall Jacob saying the "F" word before, which is great considering he's a seven year old boy in school. I don't have a trucker mouth or anything, but I might let a curse word slip every once in a while. So we're glad that Jacob thinks of stupid as a bad word and hopefully he never drops an "F" bomb, at least in class.
So if you're looking for a new book for your kids, you have to get The Twits. Jacob has never demonstrated such emotion after reading a book, ever. I can't believe a kids book would ever leave Jacob with reservations about foul language. The author has commented on how the book makes people sick and that kids like to feel sick and be scared. This book stirred up so much emotion in Jacob and even me when I read it. I mean, how often do we as parents enjoy reading a kid's book without our kids present? You have to get it ASAP as I've never read anything like it, so I know you'll enjoy it too, just maybe not at bedtime or before dinner.
WELCOME TO JIM'S AUTISM BLOG
Hi everyone and thanks for visiting our blog. My wife and I created this blog to chronicle our experience while raising a son with Asperger's syndrome. Since our son was diagnosed with an ASD at age 5, we've had a lot of questions. Lucky for us we have a great support network in place. And our blog gives us an opportunity to share what we've learned with our readers. We hope you find our blog informative and interesting. Thanks again for visiting.
"It seems that for success in science and art, a dash of autism is essential." Dr Hans Asperger 1906-1980