A nonverbal autistic boy named Ronan made music history in 2019 by exclaiming "Wow" after a performance of Mozart by The Handel and Haydn Society in Boston and the impassioned utterance was caught on a radio recording that went viral, with stories on CBS, NPR, and dozens of outlets reaching 70 million and counting.
Todd has crafted it into a children's story, due soon from the Beach Lane imprint of Simon & Schuster.
An alternately loud and quiet portrait exploring the power of music to reach the private mind, The Boy Who Said Wow was adapted to video for Classical Kids Storytime by Minnesota Public Radio in 2020, with illustrations by Nancy Carlson.
It quickly became the most popular CKS video ever, with 100,000 views in its first week alone.
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This is absolutely, utterly incredible. I'm blown away by hearing this
beautiful portrayal of our boy brought to life in sound and illustration.
Truly such an AMAZING gift!
— Rachel, Ronan's mother
Ronan's "Wow" has already been heard by millions of adults around the world. I want kids to hear it too. I loved the process of interviewing Ronan's family and members of the orchestra to develop this project, and I'm grateful to them for sharing the story with me. There's still a nonverbal little boy in me that's forever grateful to Ronan, too, for expressing the inexpressible.