Natasha Moulton-Levy and her son Julian English sent me their book, No Limits: No Boundaries! My Journey Through the ABC’s to review for Multicultural Children’s Book Day. I wanted to read a book that was both culturally diverse and featured characters on the autism spectrum.
Their book was so much more than I expected…it was a beautiful story scrapbook of a family dedicated to giving their son with special needs every opportunity to live a life of learning, growth and experiences beyond imagination.
Unconditional love spills out of every page as Julian learns his ABC’s through the family’s worldwide travel and adventures. It’s a visual feast that will take you from Australia (A) to the Zoos (Z) all over the world. Natasha and Julian share their thoughts on each page.
It doesn’t surprise me that Natasha, by nature, is an advocate and problem solver who is determined to make sure her children have all the love, support and tools to become their best selves. Her son, Julian, has faced many challenges, therapies, and surgeries but, according to Natasha, “Nothing has thwarted his desire to be the star he was born to be.”
As a creative problem solver and mom who has raised a son with autism, No Limits: No Boundaries! made me so happy! It’s inspiring to see how other families are using their creativity when traditional solutions don’t fit their out-of-the-box child.
Thank you Natasha and Julian for sharing your journey with us!
In your words, what is No Limits: No Boundaries! My Journey Through the ABC’s about?
Our children’s book chronicles the journey of a mother’s voyage to find her son’s learning language. Due to the medical challenges and impact of premature birth, Julian does not learn in the traditional way. Academically, Julian is described as being extremely challenged, while socially he appears to be normal and typically functioning. None of this mattered to me. I am unwilling to accept anything less than the best for my children.
By figuring out his interests and socializing him through travel and interaction with multiple cultures, Julian continues to explore uncharted territories of cognitive functioning and is learning through his experiences. This illuminating book reminds us that nothing is more powerful in a child’s development than love.
Move beyond the pictures and the experiences, and you will see how I invested my time, energy and love and have found ways to make Julian’s special needs minor to his life journey as a successful citizen of the world.
Be encouraged that you too can find that individual way to motivate your special person to learn too.
What inspired you to write it?
Julian’s story inspired us to write the book.
A few years ago, I took Julian to a developmental pediatrician appointment. The doctor asked Julian to tell him numbers, letter and colors. Julian said he did not know them. The doctor then showed a picture board with 9 pictures. He asked Julian what building belonged in India. Julian picked the Taj Mahal. The doctor was surprised because the answer was correct. How could Julian not know is colors, shape and letters but know the Taj Mahal? Julian knew the Taj Mahal because we visited India the week before the appointment for Spring Break.
Who’s your illustrator and why was she perfect for capturing the spirit of your book?
Mickie Quinn. The most interesting thing about our relationship is that she could capture the essence of the book without meeting me not talking to me. She was able to create the images through the words on the paper.
Who is the ideal reader and how do you see the book being used?
Before the book was published, I believed that the book would be ideal for those (adult or child) with special needs or learning disabilities. We also thought it would be a self-help book for parents, to help them find unique ways to support their unique learners. As the book has gotten more publicity, I have had additional success with parents who want to teach their children through experiences whether they have learning disabilities or not.
A fellow author said she wished I had published the book when her children were younger. She said she would have traveled around the world with them to teach them about life, different experiences, and different cultures. She will start now but it would have been more fun and impactful to start traveling when they were younger.
What’s the message you want your readers to take away after reading the book?
Everyone can learn! Experiences can create lifelong learning tools.
Is there anything else you’d like to share about your book?
The way we approached the alphabet (through travel) worked well for us. One does not need to travel around the world to make associations. You can find associations in the grocery store or in your local town.
Do you have a proud moment you’d like to share?
Julian has had many great moments. He was chosen as a Special Olympics athlete to be on a panel with two NFL players to take about adversity and sports. He has also represented Special Olympics Maryland at Congress to discuss Special Olympics Programs. He was invited to represent the Special Olympics Maryland at the White House as well.
Follow Julian on his journey and discover No Limits: No Boundaries! on:
Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017 (1/27/17) #ReadYourWorld is in its fourth year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise awareness on the ongoing need to include kid’s books that celebrate diversity in home and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents and educators.
Despite census data that shows 37% of the US population consists of people of color, only 10% of children’s books published have diversity content. Using the Multicultural Children’s Book Day holiday, the MCBD Team are on a mission to change all of that.
Current Sponsors: MCBD 2017 is honored to have some amazing Sponsors on board. Platinum Sponsors include Scholastic, Barefoot Books and Broccoli. Other Medallion Level Sponsors include heavy-hitters like Author Carole P. Roman, Audrey Press, Candlewick Press, Fathers Incorporated, KidLitTV, Capstone Young Readers, ChildsPlayUsa, Author Gayle Swift, Wisdom Tales Press, Lee& Low Books, The Pack-n-Go Girls, Live Oak Media, Author Charlotte Riggle, Chronicle Books and Pomelo Books
Author Sponsor include: Karen Leggett Abouraya, Veronica Appleton, Susan Bernardo, Kathleen Burkinshaw, Maria Dismondy, D.G. Driver, Geoff Griffin, Savannah Hendricks, Stephen Hodges, Carmen Bernier-Grand,Vahid Imani, Gwen Jackson, Hena, Kahn, David Kelly, Mariana Llanos, Natasha Moulton-Levy, Teddy O’Malley, Stacy McAnulty, Cerece Murphy, Miranda Paul, Annette Pimentel, Greg Ransom, Sandra Richards, Elsa Takaoka, Graciela Tiscareño-Sato, Sarah Stevenson, Monica Mathis-Stowe SmartChoiceNation, Andrea Y. Wang
We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also work tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.
- Multicultural books for teachers
- Kindness classroom kit for homeschoolers, librarians, organizations, and educators
- Diversity book lists and activities for teachers and parents
- Multicultural Children’s Book Day E-Book on Amazon