Book Review: “What Color is Monday?” by Carrie Cariello

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“What color do you see for Monday?” my son Jack asked as I heaved a chicken into the oven.  “What?” I said distractedly, turning from the oven to slice some potatoes at the counter.  It was late afternoon one day last fall, and I was preparing dinner and managing the demands of homework and tired toddlers.(One was in a tiara.)

“What color is Monday?” he asked again, his robotic voice rising ever so slightly in irritation.  “I don’t see Monday as a color. Do you?” I asked, finally tuning in to what he was talking about.

“Yes. All days are colors.”

All days are colors.  On a seemingly ordinary day, Jack once again granted me the privilege to take a tiny peek inside his fascinating mind. Without preamble, he rattled off which color he associates with each day. And then, just as suddenly as the conversation began, he snapped his mind closed and moved on to something else entirely. I tried to probe further; why was Saturday purple?  Was the entire day purple, or just the morning? “I told you. No more,” he responded in a clipped tone.

Out of our discussion, a book title was born. Riddle Brook Publishing has asked me to write a book based on our life with an autistic child.  I originally wanted to call the book Thursday is Purple, but a couple of weeks ago Jack off-handedly remarked that Thursday is sometimes green.  (Come on, Jack-a-boo.  I’m trying to write a book about you here. For real.) And so, What Color is Monday? it is.

what color is monday

“What Color is Monday?” is an insightful look into the world of a family that faces the challenges of a child diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder.  They face it with love, understanding, and kindness.  Mother and author, Carrie Cariello, shares her emotions as she raises her children, each with their unique personalities and challenges, but especially Jack who sees the world in a different way.

The book begins with a “Note to Self”.  Carrie writes a letter to herself for the day that her two year old son was diagnosed.  It sets the tone for the rest of the story.  In this first chapter we are given a beautiful, heartfelt, touching, emotional look into the heart of Carrie Cariello.  We see the love, hope, realism but optimism that will be echoed again and again throughout the book.  Above all, above all, Carrie loves her children.  She struggles against the easy fall into sadness and hopelessness and surfaces each day with not only hope but appreciation for the goodness she finds in Jack’s condition.

I underlined, folded down page corners, circled, put !! in the margins – for so many parts of this book.  Carrie eloquently describes her son and gave me an understanding of autism that I never had before.  She also voiced many of the feelings I have as a mother.  I encourage everyone to read this book because you will not only get an insight into autism, you also get an insight into motherhood and family.  Above all her hope and way of seeing the good in any situation is incredible.

“The list of he’s not talking when will he point why doesn’t he play with others will eventually be replaced with look at his smile I love to hear his voice tell me again Jack tell me everything you have to say tell me.  He will surprise you every single day.”

“One day there will be a beautiful moment when the boy and the autism combine and you fiercely love them both.”

And there are so many lessons for all of us about patience, understanding, learning about your child.  I would love to share more, but truly you just need to read this book.  Oh wait, I forgot to talk about the sense of humor!  When you read “What Color is Monday?”, you will laugh.  You will also cry and say “aw” a lot, but you will laugh.

carrie cariello

About the Author

Carrie lives in Southern New Hampshire with her husband, Joe (who she calls her biggest hero) and their five children.

“My second son, Jack, has autism. A lot of times he makes me laugh, sometimes he makes me cry, but mostly he just makes me watch and wonder.”

Carrie has a Master’s in Public Administration from Rockefeller College and a Master’s in Business Administration from Canisius College.  She is a regular contributor to “Autism Spectrum News” and has been published in several magazines.  Carrie is also a blogger at

You can also connect to Carrie here:

Carrie Cariello on Facebook

Carrie Cariello on Twitter

As Halloween approaches, also see my post about kindness and understanding for children coming to your door for Trick or Treat.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  All opinions are my own unless otherwise stated.  I was given a prepublication edition of the book for review.


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