Posts Tagged ‘friendship’

The Cost of Being “In” – Two of a Kind by Jacqui Robbins

Posted on November 19th, 2012 by Carolyn Hart

Two of a Kind written by Jacqui Robbins and illustrated by Matt Phelan
Anti bullying picture book published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, Simon and Schuster

Be sure to check out our page about anti-bullying picture books for children, our page about anti bullying chapter books, graphic novels and novels for children , and our Pinterest anti bullying board

Kayla and Melanie love to work together on projects. They are very much alike and sometimes they dress the same way. At recess, they sit together on the jungle gym. They don’t want anyone else to join them.

Anna and Julisa also like to be partners at school. They both wear glasses and sometimes they laugh so hard that their glasses fall off. At recess, Anna and Julisa sit together. They are friendly and would be happy to have any of their classmates join them.

In class, Kayla and Melanie sometimes make fun of the other children and, one day, they make fun of Julisa and her glasses. When Anna is unexpectedly partnered with Melanie for a science project, she is able to share her knowledge.

Melanie says I am so smart. She says maybe I am cool after all…
“Hey,” she says, pulling my arm away from the mess. “Do you want to play with us?”

Like magic, Anna is invited to sit with Kayla and Melanie at recess. Anna’s two new companions laugh at Julisa and continue to exclude her.

Fortunately, Anna pauses to consider her relationship with Julisa and before long she realizes where true friendship and her loyalty lies.

Two of a Kind is a thought-provoking depiction of how easily children can be lured by the desire to be popular and how difficult it is to be outcast. Sure to prompt discussions about friendship, loyalty and standing up for what is right, it is best suited to readers aged five and up.

Readers will be interested to know that Matt Phelan also illustrated Susan Patron’s The Higher Power of Lucky and Betty G. Birney’s The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs – two of my favourite novels for middle grade readers.

Add this anti bullying picture book to your bookshelf –

Two of a Kind at Amazon.com

Two of a Kind at Amazon.ca


Anti Bullying Chapter Book – Song Lee and the “I Hate You Notes”

Posted on November 7th, 2012 by Carolyn Hart

Song Lee and the “I Hate You” Notes written by Suzy Kline and illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz
Anti bullying chapter book (reprint) published by Puffin

Be sure to check out our page about anti-bullying picture books for children, our page about anti bullying chapter books, graphic novels and novels for children , and our Pinterest anti bullying board

Suzy Kline has written many books for young readers. She writes about school life, family life and social situations in chapter book series that feature Horrible Harry, Song Lee and
Herbie Jones.

In Song Lee and the “I Hate You” Notes, Mary has been staying up late. She is tired when she arrives at school and she is grumpy for most of the day.

Everyone laughed but Mary. She was too busy biting and chewing on her braid. Her rotten mood was as mean and angry as the dark clouds gathering outside our classroom window.

I could tell something bad was going to happen.

I hoped it was just a storm.

Doug’s intuition is correct. Not only is a storm brewing outside, there is one developing inside Miss Mackle’s classroom. Mary is upset with Song Lee and leaves two notes on her desk. Harry and Doug see Song Lee open the notes. They quietly retrieve the notes from a garbage can and read them. They are reluctant to “tattle” but they can see that Song Lee is upset. Harry speaks quietly to Miss Mackle and she is grateful for the information he provides. She has the perfect solution: she reaches for a picture book. Lovable Lyle by Bernard Waber has just the right message for Mary and her classmates.

Best suited to children in grades two and three, Song Lee and the “I Hate You” Notes realistically depicts both the bully and her victim and encourages bystanders to get involved and enlist the assistance of an adult.

Song Lee and the I Hate You Notes at Amazon.com

Song Lee and the I Hate You Notes at Amazon.ca

Lovable Lyle at Amazon.com

Lovable Lyle at Amazon.ca


Anti bullying graphic novel, Babymouse Queen of the World!

Posted on November 5th, 2012 by Carolyn Hart

Babymouse Queen of the World! Created by Jennifer L Holm and Matthew Holm

Anti bullying graphic novel

published by Random House Kids

Be sure to check out our page about anti-bullying picture books for children, our page about anti bullying chapter books, graphic novels and novels for children , and our Pinterest anti bullying board

Babymouse burst onto the scene in 2005 in Babymouse Queen of the World. Since then, enthusiastic readers have flocked to the series of fifteen graphic novels for middle grade readers.

Babymouse Queen of the World introduces a strong female character. Babymouse has a vivid imagination, she loves cupcakes, reading and scary movies. She longs for adventure, glamour and excitement and hopes for straight whiskers and no homework. Instead, Babymouse is stuck with chores, tons of homework, a locker that sticks and some very annoying curly whiskers.

When Babymouse hears about an upcoming slumber party to be hosted by Felicia Furrrypaws, she is willing to do almost anything to secure an invitation. When Felicia fails to complete a homework assignment, she acquires Babymouse’s book report in exchange for an invitation to the her party. Babymouse ditches her best friend, Wilson the Weasel, misses their scary movie night and goes to the slumber party.

In a case of “Be careful what you wish for” Babymouse discovers the party is quite what she had envisioned

This is so boring.
We’re out of popcorn. Go make yourself useful, Babymouse… And bring extra butter.

Middle grade readers will be drawn to this boldly illustrated anti bullying graphic novel. They will connect with Babymouse’s dreams and identify with the frustrations and challenges she faces.

Babymouse #1: Queen of the World! at Amazon.com

Babymouse #1: Queen of the World! at Amazon,ca


Anti bullying book for beginning readers: Fancy Nancy and the Mean Girl

Posted on November 4th, 2012 by Carolyn Hart


Fancy Nancy and the Mean Girl written by Jane O’Connor, illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser and Ted Enik
Anti bullying book for beginning readers published by Harper Collins Children’s

Be sure to check out our page about anti-bullying picture books for children, our page about anti bullying chapter books, graphic novels and novels for children , and our Pinterest anti bullying board

Fancy Nancy and the Mean Girl is part of Harper Collins Children’s I Can Read series. Ranked by Harper Collins as “Beginning Reading Level 1,” it is generously illustrated and includes words such as appetite, splendid, speechless and canceled.

Field Day is just around the corner. Most of Nancy’s classmates are excited about the upcoming races but Nancy is not. She is dreading Field Day because she is not good at running and last year, when her team lost, she was teased. When Nancy discovers that Grace is on her team, she is doubly concerned. Grace is sometimes mean.

Nancy trains hard for the relay race but her training is too little. too late. She decides a different tactic might work. She pretends she has injured her foot and she begins limping. Nancy’s dad is not convinced by her limp and he questions her about it. Finally, Nancy confides and explains why she is upset.

After a conversation with her dad, Nancy feels better and she approaches Field Day and Grace with a plan. She speaks to Grace

“I will run as fast as I can.
But if we lose,
don’t say mean stuff.
You are a good runner.
But you are not a good sport.”

Fans of the Fancy Nancy series are sure to enjoy this anti bullying book for beginning readers. The story is engaging. Both Nancy’s problem and the outcome are realistic. Fancy Nancy and the Mean Girl could lead to discussions of teasing and bullying as well as sportsmanship and doing one’s best in a difficult situtation.

Recommended for children aged six and up.
Fancy Nancy and the Mean Girl at Amazon.com

Fancy Nancy And The Mean Girl at Amazon.ca

Note – my copy of Fancy Nancy and the Mean Girl is a (hardcover) First Edition, copyrighted 2011. There is a typo on page 16: “That’s means I’m not hungry”


A picture book about teasing and acceptance, Yoko by Rosemary Wells

Posted on October 31st, 2012 by Carolyn Hart

Yoko written and illustrated by Rosemary Wells

Picture book about teasing and acceptance

published by Hyperion Books for Children

Be sure to check out our page about anti-bullying picture books for children, our page about anti bullying chapter books, graphic novels and novels for children , and our Pinterest anti bullying board

When Yoko’s mom packs her favourite things for lunch, Yoko happily boards the school bus and enjoys the morning with her classmates. At lunchtime,

Yoko opened the willow-covered cooler. Inside was her favourite sushi. Tucked in the rice rolls were the crispiest cucumber, the pinkest shrimp, the greenest seaweed, and the tastiest tuna.

When a classmate notices Yoko’s lunch, he remarks, “What’s in your lunch? … Ick! It’s green! It’s seaweed!”

Poor Yoko, before long all of her classmates are laughing about the food in her lunch and she is heartbroken. Fortunately, her teacher, Mrs. Jenkins is alert to the problem and she devises a solution. She announces there will be an International Food Day at Yoko’s school.

Sadly, on the day of the special event, all her classmates avoid Yoko’s sushi. Finally, Timothy gives it a try. He loves the delicious sushi and he’d like to eat it again the following day. Yoko has found a friend. The following day, they push their desks together and enjoy a lovely lunch.

Yoko is a heartwarming picture book about teasing and acceptance. It lends itself well to discussions about tolerance and celebrating our differences. Yoko will appeal to children in preschool and kindergarten.

For fans of this book, Yoko also appears in Yoko’s Show and Tell, Yoko Writes Her Name, Yoko’s Paper Cranes.

Add this anti bullying picture book to your bookshelf –

Yoko at Amazon.com

Yoko at Amazon.ca

Watch Yoko


Jungle Bullies – anti bullying picture book for preschool

Posted on October 30th, 2012 by Carolyn Hart

Jungle Bullies written by Steven Kroll and illustrated by Vincent Nguyen
Anti bullying picture book published by Marshall Cavendish Children’s Books

Be sure to check out our page about anti-bullying picture books for children, our page about anti bullying chapter books, graphic novels and novels for children , and our Pinterest anti bullying board

One morning Elephant went down to the pond for his bath. But who was there first? Hippo, and he was taking up a lot of space.
Elephant glared at Hippo.
“Get out of the water, Hippo,” he said. “I want to bathe in peace.”

Jungle Bullies written by Steven Kroll and illustrated by Vincent Nguyen

Hippo leaves the pond, only to find Lion on the path. Since Hippo is bigger than Lion, he nudges Lion. The bullying behavior moves from animal to animal until it finally reaches Monkey. Monkey complains to his mama and she replies, “Son, you have to stand up to bullies. You go back to Leopard, and you tell him there’s enough room for two on that branch.” Mama accompanies Monkey as he nervously approaches Leopard. Monkey reminds Leopard to share and to stop being mean. Leopard is taken aback, he is suddently much less comfortable on his branch. He decides Monkey can stay on the branch and then he gets an idea. As Monkey’s message moves from animal to animal, friendships are restored and the former bullies discover it is much more fun to share.

An ideal introduction to the topics of bullying and sharing, Jungle Bullies features predictable recurring text. It is a beautifully illustrated anti bullying picture book and will be enjoyed by preschool age children.

Dusty The Dragon from the Lewisville Fire Department (TX) reads Jungle Bullies and sings “Don’t Be Cruel to the Kids at School”

Lesson plan from Teacher Think Tank

Jungle Bullies at Amazon.com

Jungle Bullies at Amazon.ca


Two Dumb Ducks Silence Their Bullies

Posted on October 25th, 2012 by Carolyn Hart

Storytime Standouts looks at Two Dumb Ducks by Maxwell Eaton III.  A fun picture book for preschoolers, it explores teasing, bullying and name callingTwo Dumb Ducks Written and illustrated by Maxwell Eaton III
Picturebook about teasing and bullying published by Alfred A. Knopf



Be sure to check out our page about anti-bullying picture books for children, our page about anti bullying chapter books, graphic novels and novels for children , and our Pinterest anti bullying board

Steve and Carl are contented ducks. Steve is happy to build castles with empty tin cans. Carl amuses himself playing with socks. Steve and Carl are not stupid and they do not like being called names. When some seagulls insist upon calling them, “Two dumb ducks,” they ask themselves, “Why?” and they suppose it could be “Jealousy” or “Troubles at home.” The ducks ask the seagulls to stop their bullying and, when that doesn’t work, they try to appear smarter.

The nasty name calling continues and eventually Steve and Carl decide to get even with the gulls. An ill-advised plan has unexpected consequences and, as a result, is spectacularly successful. Steve and Carl achieve their goal: the seagulls are silenced and the two friends are free to enjoy building with cans and playing with socks.

Pencil illustrations have been coloured digitally in this cartoon-like picture book. Best suited to preschool age children, Two Dumb Ducks could be used to explore teasing, name calling and bullying themes.

Two Dumb Ducks at Amazon.com

Two Dumb Ducks at Amazon.ca

Story People by Brian Andreas

Posted on September 22nd, 2012 by Jody

On a trip through an airport, Jody discovers the work of Brian Andreas and his Story People

While passing time at the Sea-Tac airport, I wandered into one of those everything-and-then-some stores. In between the hand-crafted cards, joke gifts, and eclectic jewelry, an interesting and colorful print caught my eye. Really, it seemed more like a scrawled version of a stick person. But it was the words that accompanied the image that grabbed me. It said:

I read once that the ancient Egyptians had fifty words for sand & the Eskimos had a hundred words for snow. I wish I had a thousand words for love, but all that comes to mind is the way you move against me while you sleep & there are no words for that.

Just like that, I was fascinated. Along with dozens of prints, all showing oddly shaped figures and sketches and sharing beautiful words, there were books. I had never heard of the author, Brian Andreas before. Flipping through his books, I was amazed at the power of his words and the fact that he could be so moving without truly defining characters. Somehow, without even giving them names and using, what seem like, pieces of conversation, he pulls you in and makes you feel like someone understands. I used all of my “mommy-needs-a-few-minutes-to-look-around-by-herself” time standing at that small shelf reading everything I could and trying to decide which print was my favourite. It’s not often you can read a few paragraphs that have the power to make your heart skip or your eyes tear; well, for most people, anyway.

As I read these little snippets of conversation between unidentified characters, I felt completely drawn in and captured by them. Some of the conversations had an almost “Time Traveller’s Wife” feel to them. Then there are sketches that accompany the words; sketches that should be amusing, but with the words, just seem beautiful. There’s so many times in life, as kids and adults, that we feel alone, that people don’t ‘get it’. It’s part of what makes a good book so important~connecting to characters makes us feel validated, understood, accepted, and “normal”. Reading through Mr. Andreas’ book Trusting Souls, I felt that way. It was so compelling that I bought it for my husband, who I’m sure would have rather had something else, from another store entirely. However, sometimes someone else has already written the words we feel we can’t express properly. When that happens, as adults and as children, it matters. It stays with us.

On his website, Mr. Andreas says “we are all story people”. I like that. Because we are. We’re all just trying to do our best, make connections, and make sense of what we see and think and feel.

His books and prints show the power words can have and I think that, in the classroom, that’s a strong message. Words matter. How we say them or write them or think them. The words we hear or see can leave a lasting impression on us. This is why it’s important to choose wisely what we say and what we read.

Here are a few pieces that will stay with me; that matter:

“Is there a lot of things you don’t understand? she said and I said pretty much the whole thing and she nodded and said that’s what she thought but it was nice to hear it anyway and we sat there in the porch swing, listening to the wind and growing up together”

With this phrase, he draws an interesting picture and scribbles that it is a “doorway that only lets some stuff through, but you never know what it’s going to choose so it’s hard to plan for the future”.
“Remember to use positive affirmations. I am not a dork is not one of them.”

This one is called “Anxiety Break”:

“things have been going so well that she’s taking an anxiety break to keep centered”

One more, from “Mostly True” :

“We lay there and looked up at the night sky and she told me about stars called blue squares and red swirls and I told her I’d never heard of them. Of course not, she said, the really important stuff they never tell you. You have to imagine it on your own.”

Story People at Amazon.com

Story People at Amazon.ca

Trusting Soul at Amazon.com

Trusting Soul at Amazon.ca

Mostly True at Amazon.com

Mostly True at Amazon.ca

The Lion and the Mouse, An Award Winning Almost Wordless Picturebook

Posted on July 9th, 2012 by Carolyn Hart

Storytime Standouts looks at an award-winning almost wordless picturebook, The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney

Storytime Standouts looks at award winning almost wordless picturebook, The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney
The Lion and the Mouse created by Jerry Pinkney
Almost wordless picturebook published by Little, Brown Kids



Be sure to check out our page devoted to wordless picture books. As well, you will be interested in our page about anti-bullying picture books for children.

The story of the lion and the mouse is an Aesop’s fable that every child ought to know well. The lion, powerful and dangerous resists an opportunity for bullying and, instead, is kind to a small mouse. Later, when the lion is trapped in a hunter’s net, the grateful mouse has an opportunity to return the favour. He chews the rope net and eventually manages to free the lion.

Jerry Pinkney has created a masterful, almost wordless picturebook version of The Lion and the Mouse. From cover to cover, beautiful illustrations depict the African Savanna and the animals found there while telling the story of a compassionate lion and his small friend. Winner of the 2010 Randolph Caldecott Medal and also a New York Times 2010 Best Illustrated Book and a 2010 Horn Book Awards Honor Book, The Lion and the Mouse relies upon the illustrations to tell the story. Pinkney only uses words to describe animal sounds.

Highly recommended for both classroom and home libraries, The Lion and the Mouse could be used to explore many themes including anti-bullying, friendship and stereotying.

Educator’s Guide in PDF format

The Lion & the Mouse at Amazon.com

The Lion & the Mouse at Amazon.ca


Chicken Thief – Wordless Picture Book Chase Fun

Posted on June 24th, 2012 by Carolyn Hart

Storytime Standouts looks at a wordless picture book with an unexpected twist, The Chicken Thief

The Chicken Thief created by Beatrice Rodriguez
Wordless picture book published by Enchanted Lion Books

Bear and Rabbit are just sitting down for a meal when one of their chicken friends is scooped up by Fox. Shocked at the brazenness of Fox’s thieving behavior, Bear, Rooster and Rabbit are outraged and are soon in hot pursuit.

Before long, Fox and Chicken have entered the deep, dark woods and Rabbit, Bear and Rooster are tiring. When they bed down for the night, Chicken can see her friends, in the moonlight. The following day, Chicken is remarkably relaxed, playing checkers with Fox and sleeping curled up, next to her abductor. The chase continues and as she and Fox take off in a boat, she does not look the least bit frightened. In fact, she wears sunglasses and reclines comfortably at the bow. When her three bedraggled friends finally catch up to Fox and Chicken, they are ready for a fight and surprised at what they discover.

Youngsters will thoroughly enjoy carefully examining the small details included in the ink and paint illustrations. Great fun for preschool and up.

Publisher’s Weekly Best Children’s Books of 2010
School Library Journal Best Children’s Books of 2010
A Cooperative Children’s Book Center Choice, 2011

The Chicken Thief at Amazon.com

The Chicken Thief at Amazon.ca

Our page about Wordless and Almost Wordless Picture Books



Wordless Picture Book Explores Friendship: South by Patrick McDonnell

Posted on June 6th, 2012 by Carolyn Hart

Storytime Standouts looks at an almost wordless picture book about friendship, South


Storytime Standouts looks at a wordless picture book about friendship, South by Patrick McDonnellSouth created by Patrick McDonnell
Almost wordless picture book published by Little, Brown






The Mutts comic strip appears in over 700 newspapers and Mooch the Cat is one member of a diverse “cast” of characters appearing in the cartoons. Whether you are a fan of the comic strip or not, South and Mooch are sure to charm you in this gentle story of friendship and acceptance.

As the last leaf detaches from a tree, a large flock of yellow songbirds lifts to the sky. It is time to head South for the winter. The golden leaf slowly drifts downward until it lands on a snoozing bird. Awakened suddenly by the intrusive leaf, the drowsy bird is shocked to discover an empty tree. Where is the flock? Agitated and suddenly very lonely, the bird seeks help from Mooch and is devastated to learn that the flock has left for warmer climes.

Mooch pauses, thinks and extends his paw. Mooch will help the errant bird find the flock. Together, the two unlikely friends travel through a busy city, into a forest and through a snowstorm as they search for the flock. At times, Mooch carries the tired bird on his back. The unexpected friendship between the two deepens. When the weary pair finally hear the sweet sounds of the songbirds, they share a tender moment before parting company. Satisfied, Mooch returns home and curls up by a welcoming fire. Winter has arrived and his job is done.

South themes include loneliness, kindness, friendship and social responsibility. Printed on recycled paper, the almost-sepia tones match the mood and a story set in Autumn beautifully. Well suited to children aged four and up, South will be equally enjoyed by adults.

South at Amazon.com

South at Amazon.ca

Our page about Wordless and Almost Wordless Picture Books


I’m Here by Peter H. Reynolds

Posted on April 2nd, 2012 by Carolyn Hart

Storytime Standouts looks at I'm Here by Peter H. Reynolds, a picture book that encourages children to embrace those with autism spectrum.I’m Here written by Peter H. Reynolds





You will also be interested in our page featuring picture books about Autism and Asperger Syndrome

Written with a goal of encouraging children and adults to reach out, embrace, and appreciate children in the autism spectrum as well as anyone who is different from ourselves, I’m Here suggests that young readers rethink their ideas about a child who prefers solitude or who is not skillful at social interactions.

At recess, a young boy sits, by himself. The loud, playground voices are too much for him, I hear it all like one big noise. A big drum. Boom. Boom. Boom Boom.

Sitting away from the crowd he feels the touch of the wind, notices a floating leaf. When a piece of paper lands near him, he knows, This is not where the paper wants to be.” He folds the paper into an airplane and launches it heavenward. Soon, the young boy is flying in the plane, exhuberant at the adventure.

A thoughtful, metaphorical picture book, I’m Here explores themes of friendship and acceptance and encourages children to look for opportunities to smile and be a friend.

I’m Here at Amazon.com

I’m Here at Amazon.ca

April 2, 2012 is World Autism Awareness Day

Seal Song by Andrea Spalding and Pascal Milelli ‘Enchants’

Posted on March 7th, 2012 by Carolyn Hart

Storytime Standouts looks at Seal Song, a picture book by Andrea Spalding and Pascal MilelliSeal Song written by Andrea Spalding and illustrated by Pascal Milelli
Picture book published by Orca Book Publishers



You will also be interested in our page highlighting picture books about caring for our environment, recycling, reducing our environmental footprint and more. Terrific resources for Earth Day and Arbor Day.


In folklore, selkies are mythological creatures that can change shape. Selkies live in the ocean as seals and on land as humans.

Each morning Finn helps his father fish but he is secretly anxious for the opportunity to slip away from the wharf and the cannery. He wants to swim with the seals.
“Sing to me.” said Finn. “Sing the seal song that brings good fortune.”
The seal blew a fish breath and disappeared below the waves.
But, despite Finn’s pleas, he does not hear the seals sing.

One afternoon, while enjoying his usual swim with seals, Finn notices a commotion in the waves, his favourite seal has been caught in an old fishing net. Finn dives into the ocean, rescues the seal, feeds it and nurses it back to health. He has made a new friend. Finally his wish is granted; he hears the seals sing.

Father is not happy with Finn and does not believe that a seal song will bring good fortune. He is suspicious when a mysterious child appears near the wharf. The other fishermen warn, “That child will never let salt water touch her skin. If it does, she must return to the sea.”

Sheila becomes a good friend to Finn but she does not swim in the ocean with him nor does she allow salt water to touch her skin. Meanwhile, the salmon fishing is good, Finn and his father are especially lucky and the old fishermen attribute their good fortune to Finn’s new friend.

Richly illustrated with beautiful, evocative oil paintings, Seal Song is a thought provoking look at what it means to be a friend.

For older children, Seal Song could lead to an exploration of folklore, shapeshifting, friendship, sacrifice, social responsibility and/or salmon fishing.

Seal Song at Amazon.com

Seal Song at Amazon.ca

Updated June 19, 2012 — Seal Song has been nominated for the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award



Anti Bullying Picture Book – The Bully Blockers Club

Posted on February 27th, 2012 by Carolyn Hart

Storytime Standouts looks at The Bully Blockers Club. an anti bullying picture book by Teresa BatemanThe Bully Blockers Club written by Teresa Bateman and illustrated by Jackie Urbanovic
Published by Albert Whitman & Company



Be sure to check out our page about anti-bullying picture books for children, our page about anti bullying chapter books, graphic novels and novels for children , and our Pinterest anti bullying board

Lotty Raccoon is excited to begin a new school year. She leaves her house with new shoes, new backpack and a positive outlook. Moments after she sits at her new desk, Grant Grizzly begins his taunting, “I’m Grant Grizzly and I say there’s a smell, and it’s coming from around you.”

Lotty does not react immediately. She talks with her siblings after school. Lotty’s younger brother suggests a karate chop could be the answer and her older sister suggests ignoring him. Lotty is not interested in the “karate chop” solution but she thinks ignoring Grant Grizzly might work.

The following day, Lotty ignores Grant Grizzly but unfortunately, the abuse continues. After further discussion at home, Lotty’s sister suggests that Lotty try to be Grant’s friend while her brother suggests joking about it. She tries both approaches without success. The next step is to get Lotty’s mom and dad involved. They contact Lotty’s teacher and she promises to be watchful but, whenever her back is turned, Grant continues his bullying.

Finally, after noticing that Grant only bullies when adults are not watching, Lotty arrives at a creative and very empowering solution to her problem. She enlists the help of her friends whenever Grant picks on someone.

That afternoon, when Grant grabbed Lotty’s crayons, Barney said, “Hey, what are you doing?”

“Yeah,” said Laurie. “Those aren’t yours.”

By now everyone, including Mrs. Kallberg was watching.”

Grant turned red, and handed the crayons back.

The Bully Blockers Club’s bold illustrations are well-suited to sharing in a group setting. The facial expressions effectively depict the emotions of the bully, the bullied and the bystanders.

After Notes include suggestions for parents and teachers including a description of the “TELL IT system.” This anti bullying system suggests children should

  • Think before they react
  • Express themselves by stating how they feel
  • Leave the situation
  • Laugh
  • Ignore
  • Tell an adult

The After Notes also suggest that Lotty’s decision to create a supportive group can be an effective way to curtail bullying.

The Bully Blockers Club is best suited to children aged five and up.

The Bully Blockers Club at Amazon.com

The Bully Blockers Club at Amazon.ca


Eddie Longpants – Anti Bullying Picturebook

Posted on February 25th, 2012 by Carolyn Hart

Storytime Standouts looks at anti bullying picture book about teasing, coping with bullies, celebrating differences and self acceptance

Storytime Standouts looks at an anti bullying picture book, Eddie Longpants by Mireille Levert.Eddie Longpants written by Mireille Levert
Anti bullying picture book published by House of Anansi Press Inc. | Groundwood Books



Be sure to check out our page about anti-bullying picture books for children, our page about anti bullying chapter books, graphic novels and novels for children , and our Pinterest anti bullying board

Eddie is much, much taller than his classmates and his teacher. He is far too big for his school. At recess time, he endures endless name-calling and teasing. He deals with the abuse by isolating himself, he stands near a tall tree and is visited by happy, chirping birds.

When Eddie’s mom arrives for a visit with the teacher, Miss Snowpear promptly climbs onto the roof.

Miss Snowpea and Mrs. Longpants talk. They look each other straight in the eye. They say nice things. They smile big smiles. They shake hands.”

The two adults model good behavior despite their differences in stature.

At recess time the following day, the teasing resumes but this time Pete makes comments about Eddie’s mom and this time Miss Snowpea overhears the insults,

She feels anger rising inside her, It makes her insides growl and her toes curl up. All this because Eddie is big!

Pete knows that he is in trouble. He wants to escape so he climbs up, up, up into a very tall tree. Suddenly, he realizes what he has done and he is frightened. He needs help to get back down from the tree.

Eddie Longpants is an anti bullying picture book that is best suited to children four and up. It delivers a lovely message about acceptance and is sure to prompt a discussion about teasing and ways to deal with it.

Ms. Levert’s illustrations are warm and engaging. She makes great use of each two-page spread to show us just how tall Eddie, his mom and his dad are.

Eddie Longpants at Amazon.com

Eddie Longpants at Amazon.ca

Enemy Pie – Anti Bullying Picture Book

Posted on February 24th, 2012 by Carolyn Hart

Storytime Standouts looks at an anti bullying picture book, Enemy PieEnemy Pie written by Derek Munson and illustrated by Tara Calahan King
Published by Chronicle Books, LLG



Be sure to check out our page about anti-bullying picture books for children, our page about anti bullying chapter books, graphic novels and novels for children , and our Pinterest anti bullying board

When Jeremy Ross moves into the neighbourhood, it spoils an otherwise perfect summer. He joins the baseball team and laughs when another baseball player strikes out. He has a party but doesn’t invite everyone to enjoy his trampoline. Perhaps without realizing what he has done, Jeremy creates an enemy.

Fortunately, Dad knows exactly how to deal with enemies. He has special recipe for Enemy Pie. The recipe is secret “Enemy Pie is the fastest known way to get rid of enemies.”

Listening to Dad prepare the recipe is almost thrilling… “Enemy Pie was going to be awful. I tried to imagine how horrible it must smell, or worse yet, what it would look like.”

While the pie cools and anticipation mounts, it is time to take the next step: the enemies must spend a day together. They ride bikes, jump on a trampoline, eat lunch and play basketball together. As time passes, something rather unexpected happens: Jeremy Ross undergoes a transformation. Spending time with him is not really a bad experience! As their day together comes to an end, the two boys enjoy a macaroni and cheese dinner and then it is time to serve up Enemy Pie.

It was at this point that I panicked. I didn’t want Jeremy to eat Enemy Pie! He was my friend! I couldn’t let him eat it!

Enemy Pie is very well suited to a group setting. It invites extension activities (possibly including baking or cooking) and encourages discussion about ways people become friends and how first impressions may not be accurate. Enemy Pie also shows a very positive father/son relationship. The cheery illustrations enhance the story nicely.

Best suited to children aged four and up.

The Enemy Pie website includes anti-bullying lesson plans and writing activities.

Enemy Pie (Reading Rainbow book) at Amazon.com

Enemy Pie at Amazon.ca

If you love picture books, you’ll want to visit Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Books.


Anti Bullying Fiction – How to Tame a Bully

Posted on February 21st, 2012 by Carolyn Hart

Storytime Standouts looks at an anti bullying chapter book, How to Tame a Bully

Storytime Standouts looks at anti bullying fiction for primary-aged children

How to Tame a Bully written by Nancy Wilcox Richards and illustrated by Drazen Kozjan
Anti bullying chapter book published by Scholastic



Be sure to check out our page about anti-bullying picture books for children, our page about anti bullying chapter books, graphic novels and novels for children , and our Pinterest anti bullying board

Lauren is excited to begin grade three. She is thrilled with her teacher and delighted to be in a class with her best friend. Lauren’s happiness dims quickly when she discovers that she is seated next to Bethany.

Bethany is a giant. She is almost as tall as Ms. MacArthur. And that’s when she’s sitting down… Her eyes are always moving. Watching everyone. I know what she is doing. She’s looking for her next victim. Someone she can force to do her homework. Someone she can beat up.

It is not long before Lauren and Bethany tangle. Bethany writes a message about Lauren on a washroom mirror and Lauren responds by giving Bethany a snack tainted with far too much salt and pepper. Bethany calls Lauren “Shrimp”, extorts recess snacks from her and splatters red paint on her new top.

When forced to work together on a school project, Lauren reachers her breaking point. She tells Bethany to stop calling her “Shrimp” and is surprised when Bethany agrees. They manage a temporary cease-fire while working together on their project but it is not until Lauren speaks up again that the relationship improves.

“Because you’re always bullying kids.”

Bethany stared back at me. Hard. Her eyes narrowed. But before she had a chance to say anything and before I ran out of courage, I continued. “You took some little grade one kid’s lunch money. You put gum on Rachael’s seat and she ruined her brand new pants. You threw a big rock through the gym window. And,” my voice started to get louder, “you keep taking my recess snack! That why you don’t have any friends. Bethany, you are just plain mean!”

Rather than resolving the bullying with an unrealistic “magical solution,” author Nancy Wilcox Richards has the girls work out a truce. Bethany’s bullying tactics subside and the girls learn to tolerate each other.

Last year, in our post titled Five Ways Young Children Can Say “No” to Bullying , we referred to Health Canada’s suggestion that one way to reduce bullying is to ask the bully to stop – a tactic that is used with success in How to Tame a Bully.

Suitable for readers in grades two or three, How to Tame a Bully is a 75 page, generously illustrated chapter book that encourages speaking up against bullying.

How to Tame a Bully at Amazon.com

How to Tame a Bully at Amazon.ca


Ella May and the Wishing Stone – a picture book about wishes, friendship and imagination

Posted on November 30th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Ella May and the Wishing Stone written by Cary Fagan and illustrated by Geneviève Côté
Picture book about friendship, problem solving published by Tundra Books





While on a trip to the beach, Ella May is fortunate to find an extra special stone – a stone that has a white line all around it. Certain that her extra special stone has the power to grant wishes, Ella May decides that her first wish should be to show the stone to all of her friends. Before long, Ella May’s friends have gathered ’round her, hoping to touch the magical stone. When Ella May refuses to let them hold it, they decide to find their own special stones. Although the children find all sorts of interesting stones, none is equal to Ella May’s.

  • “You’re not nice,” Manuel said. He put his stone in his pocket and tromped down the sidewalk to his own house.
  • Ella May watched him go, “Hey,” she said, “I wanted Manuel to go home and he did. Thank you again, wishing stone.”
  • Unable to find their own wishing stones, Ella’s friends come up with a creative but short-lived solution to the problem. Unfortunately, nothing resolves the conflict amongst the children; Ella May wants to be the only person with a wishing stone and she wants to keep her friends. The other children are resentful of the stone and of Ella May.

    When Ella May finally realizes that having a wishing stone is not nearly as special as having friends, the stage is set for a happy and imaginative solution that reunites the group.

    A great choice for children aged four and up, Ella May and the Wishing Stone is a (32 page) story that invites readers to think about what it means to be a friend, how best to share treasured items and imaginative ways to solve problems.

    Note – illustrations and children’s names depict a racially diverse group of friends.

    Ella May and the Wishing Stone at Amazon.com

    Ella May and the Wishing Stone at Amazon.ca



    A Fresh Look at a Frog Prince – Kiss Me! (I’m a Prince)

    Posted on November 13th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

    Kiss Me I'm a Prince written by Heather McLeod and illustrated by Brooke KerriganKiss Me! (I’m and Prince!) written by Heather McLeod and illustrated by Brooke Kerrigan
    Picture book published by Fitzhenry & Whiteside





    When young Ella chances upon a talking frog, she is not altogether sure that kissing his puckered froggy lips is a good idea. For Ella, the idea of a talking frog is much more appealing than the prospect of kissing him and turning him into a boring frog prince. Ella is a fan of play – she likes basketball, swimming and Simon Says. Ella’s reluctance to kiss her new froggy friend means that he has a chance to enjoy traditional childhood games and to behave in some ways that are not at all royal. Eventually, representatives of the palace arrive. The royal frog is returned to a life of fencing and studying but not before Ella’s ideas have made a lasting impression. The frog negotiates with his parents for more playtime before returning to ask Ella for a magical kiss so he can join the neighbourhood baseball team.

    An enjoyable read aloud for children aged four and up, Kiss Me! (I’m and Prince!) provides many opportunities for children to make predictions and also invites comparisons with other versions of The Frog Prince.

    Kiss Me! (I’m a Prince) at Amazon.com

    Kiss Me! (I’m a Prince!) at Amazon.ca

    A Simple “Hello” Can Make a World of Difference – So Close by Natalia Colombo

    Posted on November 11th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

    So Close written and illustrated by Natalia Colombo
    Picture book published by Tundra Books





    With a message that will resonate with adults as well as children, So Close reminds us that the possibility of meeting a new friend is often not far away. Mr. Duck and Mr. Rabbit rush past each other every day, not realizing what they are missing in their haste. Beautifully illustrated with painterly artwork, So Close offers a gentle message that a smile and a friendly, “Hello” can make a world of difference.

    I use this title at the beginning of my Celebrating Diversity workshops. I think we have all had the experience of missing an opportunity for a friendship or discovering a friendship under surprising circumstances. So Close is well-suited to classroom use. It could be used to encourage discussion of friendship, loneliness, social situations, hurrying and over-scheduling.

    Well suited to children 4 years and up. Also available in a Spanish edition.

    So Close at Amazon.com

    So Close at Amazon.ca


    You may also be interested in our page titled “Diversity.” We highlight picture books and chapter books that celebrate and inform us about human diversity including learning disabilities, physical disabilities, allergies, single parent families, interracial families, same sex parents, aging, death and more.

    Don’t miss our page of quotes about diversity.

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