We’re so thrilled to be able to highlight another amazing autistic writer…Benjamin K.M. Kellogg. His delightful children’s books are helping autistic kids learn social and life skills. We know that you will enjoy getting to know him and his work.
Hello, my name is Benjamin K.M. Kellogg. I am twenty-four years old, and I hail from Mexico, NY. I am a freelance writer, and I have autism. I am also a 2012 graduate (Summa Cum Laude) of Cayuga Community College with an Associate in Arts in Humanities and Social Science degree with a Writing Concentration. Along with writing the Noah and Logan children’s book series, I am also working on a novel. In the past, my work has included writing poetry and an online column about my life as an autistic adult, among other works
What is the theme of Noah and Logan Learn to Share?
In Noah and Logan Learn to Share, Noah and Logan learn the importance of sharing as they play with toy dinosaurs. At the story’s start, they play by themselves, each with one of the dinosaurs. As they continue playing, they decide that they each would like to play with the other’s toy. They then decide that they can play together and share the dinosaurs. By doing so, they discover they have much more fun sharing with each other than they did playing alone. Color identification is also featured in this story.
What is the theme of Noah and Logan Learn to Clean?
In Noah and Logan Learn to Clean, the skill of cleaning efficiently is demonstrated as Noah and Logan clean their playroom before naptime. They pick their toys up off their playroom floor and put them in their proper places. The concepts of colors, time, and schedules are also emphasized: certain toys and storage areas are named by color, a wall-mounted clock moves steadily forward throughout the story as the boys clean the room, and a schedule next to the clock outlines the day’s activities.
What inspired you to write them?
I created the Noah and Logan children’s book series as a way to help other children with autism learn the social and life skills I struggled to master as a child. I would like other children to be able to apply these skills to their own lives and have an easier time learning them than I did when I was younger. It is my hope that they will find the Noah and Logan stories fun and helpful aids.
Who’s your illustrator and why was she perfect for capturing the spirit of your book?
My mother, Theresa Kellogg, is the illustrator for the Noah and Logan series. Her illustrations are done in gel pen and colored pencil, and I feel they have captured the events of each story from a child’s perspective. I think her simple illustrations appeal to young children and hold their attention. Many of the children’s books I liked best at a young age had illustrations with this same simplistic quality.
Who is your ideal reader?
These universal stories are intended for young children from age two to five, but I feel that any child on the autism spectrum who may be struggling with the skills addressed in the books may especially benefit from them.
What’s the message you want your readers to take away after reading your books?
I hope my readers take from the Noah and Logan stories the message that they, too, are capable of learning the important social and life skills Noah and Logan are learning about. In essence, Noah and Logan represent me at a young age, and with practice and a “never-give-up” attitude, I was able to learn these skills.
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Is there anything else you’d like to share about your books?
My mother and I are working on a third book in the series in which Noah and Logan practice tying their sneakers, a skill I worked on for years. My mother’s illustrations for this story are very technical, capturing each step in the shoe-tying process with an eye for precise details and movements.
UPDATE: Benjamin’s third book has been published! Find “Noah and Logan Learn to Tie Their Sneakers” on Amazon
Do you have a proud moment, inspirational story, or moving fan feedback you’d like to share?
I have spoken with and received several e-mails from readers regarding the Noah and Logan stories. I am so proud and humbled that my stories are being read, enjoyed, and used as tools to help children learn and grow.
If our readers leave with only one message after reading this interview, what would you like it to be?
The most important message I would like to leave readers with is that with hard work and perseverance they can overcome many obstacles to get to where they want to be in life. I have conquered many challenges myself, and I hope that my books can help others do the same.
Where can we find out more about you and your books?
More information about me and the Noah and Logan series can be found on my web site: benjaminkmkellogg.com. I likewise have two Facebook pages: “Benjamin Kellogg, Author” and “Noah and Logan Children’s Book Series.” I also maintain a blog at kellogthoughts.com where I share my many thoughts and interests. I welcome input from my readers on all of my sites.