Little Jimmy Says, “Same Is Lame” written by Jimmy Vee and illustrated by Mike Motz Antibullying picture book about embracing differences published by Atlas Press
“What is the difference between an obstacle and an opportunity? Our attitude toward it. Every opportunity has a difficulty, and every difficulty has an opportunity.”
― J. Sidlow Baxter
in this semi-autobiographical new picture book, marketing expert, magician, author and ventriloquist Jimmy Vee explains why being different is much more interesting than living an ordinary existence.
Because I am different, it makes me feel proud. I’d rather stand out than blend in with the crowd.
Citing many examples of physical features, Vee encourages young readers to celebrate their appearance and abilities while acknowledging the fact that they are not like everybody else.
Upbeat, rhyming text and bright, colorful cartoonish illustrations depict wearing glasses, baldness, wearing braces, having a large nose, freckles, an unusual voice, being a different height than your peers and having a facial scar. Young readers, especially with encouragement from adults, are invited to think about ways differences can be exploited and can ultimately be perceived as assets.
She came into town like five tons of bad luck.
She came into town in a big moving truck.
From the moment Astrid and her family move into a new neighborhood, she is unpleasant. She chases, teases and is destructive. Ignoring her and keeping busy seems to be the best solution until one day Astrid has a bad accident while riding her bike. She needs help. Her victim hesitates to step forward. She asks, “Why are you mean to me?”. Astrid’s explanation surprises her remarkably forgiving neighbor and the two girls discover a way to be friends.
When reviewing antibullying picture books, we prefer stories that resolve the bullying problem realistically. Although Astrid’s bike crash and her victim’s willingness to forgive her past deeds provide a somewhat’magical’ solution to a serious bullying problem, we think there is lots to appreciate about Bad Astrid. Fun cartoon-like illustrations, playful word art and rhyming text will have special appeal for older readers and may make this an excellent discussion-starter about bullying for primary-grade classrooms.
When Billy Bully arrives at the school playground, his animal friends are already there. Cow is enjoying a swing, horse is on the teeter totter and duck is on the slide. Within moments, Billy Bully has taken charge. He chases the others off the slide, grabs toys and he won’t wait his turn. One by one, he upsets each of his classmates and loses friends.
Eventually Billy Bully discovers that every one of his classmates has run away from him. There is no one to play with.
Now Billy Bully’s feeling blue,
Until – he figures out just what to do.
He says to Sheep, “It’s you who won.”
And now his friends are up to 1!
After counting down his friends, Billy sets to work repairing the harm he has done.
When Billy Bull learns how to play,
all his friends come back to stay.
Best suited to preschool or kindergarten age children, Billy Bully is a rhyming counting book with an important message about bullying and friendship. It includes an Afterword for parents and teachers by Ellen Jacobs, Ph.D., Clinical Social Work
Are you aware of the United Nations’ Billion Tree Campaign?
It is a campaign that encourages people all over the world to plant trees that are indigenous and appropriate to our own environments. By the end of 2009, more than seven billions trees had been planted in more than one hundred seventy countries.
One cannot overstate the value of trees to our very existence. Trees and forests contribute to our health, wealth, food and fuel supplies as well as air, soil and water quality and climate stability. Today’s post pulls together some resources related to trees and the campaign to plant them.
Beginning with a bright, cheerful introduction to trees and what they do for our world:
We Planted a Tree – written by Diane Muldrow and illustrated by Bob Staake
Young families in Brooklyn, New York and in Africa each plant a tree. As their trees grow, this inventive and beautiful picture book takes us to visit beautiful trees budding in Toyko and gorgeous bright, pink blossoms in Paris.
“The sun kept shining.
The pink blossoms dropped off,
But soon there were green leaves,
Green, green shiny leaves,
Which had food inside for the tree.
This joyous celebration of trees and the impact of planting just one, highlights that they can be a source of food and shade, they help to clean our air and they can prevent soil erosion. As well, readers learn that trees are home to birds and animals.
This picture book connects nicely with Green Belt Movement Kenya. The mission of the Green Belt Movement (GBM) is to mobilize community consciousness- using tree planting as an entry point – for self-determination, equity, improved livelihoods and security, and environmental conservation.
For additional information about tree planting, check out The Green Wave, The Green Wave is a multi-year global campaign that enables children and youth to make a difference – one school, one tree, one step at a time. The Green Wave brings together children and youth from around the world to raise awareness about biodiversity, and the need to reduce its loss.
The United Nation’s Billion Tree Campaigna worldwide tree planting initiative facilitated by the United Nations Environment Programme. People, communities, businesses, industry, civil society organizations and governments are encouraged to enter tree planting pledges on-line. The campaign strongly encourages the planting of indigenous trees and trees that are appropriate to the local environment.
Plant a Tree Today(PATT) Foundation works to raise awareness of global environmental issues, campaign for better environmental practices and take action against deforestation and climate change by planting trees.
Why Should I Recycle? written by Jen Green and illustrated by Mike Gordon
Why Should I Recycle?a picture book about recycling is part of a series of books that includes Why Should I… Save Energy, Save Water, and Protect Nature. It explains that items typically tossed into the garbage often can be reused.
On a field trip to a recycling center, Mr. Jones explains that bottles, cans, plastic, clothing and paper can all be used again. Additional suggestions include composting, donating used clothing, books and toys, reusing plastic bags and choosing to buy items made from recycled materials.
Endnotes for teachers and parents include suggestions for points to discuss as well as follow-up activities and a list of picture books about recycling, pollution, and conserving energy.
Best for children aged 4 – 6, Why Should I Recycle? provides an introduction to this subject and is well-suited for use in a classroom library.
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