To Vanessa, With Love

Neurodiversities refer to different ways people experience the world. These conditions include (but are not limited to): 

  • Anxiety 
  • Autism 
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) 
  • Depression 
  • Dyslexia 
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) 
  • Schizophrenia 
  • Tourette’s syndrome 

One of the rarest of diversities is synesthesia. This neurological condition causes senses to blend, or one sense to trigger another sense. For example, a person may perceive a written letter with a color. Or a shape with a taste. Or a sound with a feeling.   

Famous musicians with this sensory ability include Duke Ellington, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Wonder and Prince. To library people, Vanessa Brantley-Newton is a rock star too. Her children’s books offer stunning illustrations and uplifting stories.  

Brantley-Newton herself experiences synesthesia and dyslexia.  She uses these unique perceptions–and the stigma she endured growing up–to infuse her books with joy, warmth, inclusion and self-confidence. Seriously, each book feels like a big hug.  

Vanessa and her work prove to kids (and adults) that neurodiversities are nothing to be ashamed of, in fact they make the world a more interesting place. Her books are all about celebrating how unique and wonderful we all are.  

Check out the following books to immerse yourself in Vanessa’s kind and vibrant world.

You can sign up for a free library card here. If you are new to our eResources, check out these tutorial videos on how to get started.

Looking for a good book, album, movie or TV show? We’re happy to recommend them to you! Use this Personalized Recommendations form to send us some information about what you like and we’ll curate a list just for you.

If you have any additional questions, you can contact a librarian through FacebookInstagram or Twitter. You can also call us at 412.622.3114 or email us at info@carnegielibrary.org.

Becoming Vanessa

This inclusive, empathetic story will help kids new to the classroom transform from timid caterpillars into beautiful butterflies who love exactly who they are!


Drum City

A summer parade, a drummer parade, a magical bucket-and-bowl serenade!



Grandma's Purse

When Grandma Mimi comes to visit, her granddaughter cannot wait to see what treasures she has hidden in her purse. You can also check out this title as eBook on OverDrive/Libby.


Just Like Me

An ode to the girl with scrapes on her knees and flowers in her hair, and every girl in between. You can also check out this title as eBook on OverDrive/Libby.




A Night Out With Mama

From Academy Award-nominated actress Quvenzhané Wallis comes a story about glitz, glamour, and the most important thing of all–family.