Grant Manier, a 21-year-old young adult on the autism spectrum, is publishing his first storybook entitled, Grant the Jigsaw Giraffe: Different is MORE. This story features the adventures of a giraffe that, despite facing many obstacles, persevered and followed his dream of becoming an artist. Manier illustrated the book and created the plot of the story to reflect his own life, with help from his mother, Julie Manier.
Woodland’s Online quoted Julie saying, “This heartfelt story resonates with anyone who feels different, but not less… they’re MORE…The giraffe is meant to represent Grant and his real life circumstances of living with special differences.”
The inspirational story is accompanied by a free interactive app, available in the App Store for both Apple and Android users. The app grants readers a virtual experience opportunity, where one can meet the author and artist, as well as use the app to identify different animals throughout the story. The book also comes with a plush toy giraffe. These two added components make the story come alive in one’s own home, allowing a child to actively engage in the story and feel personally involved.
The app associated with Manier’s book has already been recognized by the Silicon Valley of the South. He will receive Texas’ STEM (STEAM) 2020 Excellence Award, which will be presented to him this upcoming Friday during the STEM NFL Super Bowl Celebration.
Manier is an eco-artist who uses recycled items to create his colorful artwork and spends part of his time as a motivational speaker who has raised over $150,000 for various causes close to his heart. He is expanding his fundraising efforts by donating the profits from the pre-ordering of his book as part of a fundraising campaign on Indiegogo. Indiegogo is an international crowd funding website.
Manier’s goals for the future include creating a packaging, labeling, and shipping company and employing his friends as his art business prospers.