Encouraging children to learn about getting along, a story about friendship
Jane Simmons is a favourite author/illustrator for many youngsters. You may be familiar with ‘Daisy’ a charming young duck that appears in many of her books.
Together by Jane Simmons Picture book about friendship published by Knopf Books for Young Readers
Together is the story of two very good friends; Mousse and Nut. Usually they love to spend time together but one day they can’t agree on anything. As dark clouds gather, they decide they are no longer best friends. In this story about friendship,it takes some time apart to remind each that differences are okay and friendship can endure even when pals are apart.
While not strickly speaking an “anti-bullying” resource, We Share Everything! is a story about getting along – with a pink twist. A perfect book to use in a kindergarten class to celebrate Pink Shirt Day.
Amanda and Jeremiah’s first day of kindergarten is filled with clashes. When Amanda selects a story from the bookshelf, Jeremiah demands that she give it to him. Their noisy conflict draws the attention of an enthusiastic kindergarten teacher who gushes, “This is kindergarten. In kindergarten we share. We share everything.” As the day progresses, the kindergarten teacher shares these same pearls of wisdom through conflicts with building blocks and paint spatters. She remains unflappable until the youngsters take heed of her advice and decide to share their clothes. “The teacher came back and said, “Oh Jeremiah and Amanda. You’re sharing, and you’re learnning how to act in kindergarten, and you’re being very grown-up, and Jeremiah, I really like your… PINK PANTS! Jeremiah, where did you get those pink pants?” A fun look at sharing and getting along, best for children aged four to six.
Bullying doesn’t happen by accident, it is a deliberate, repeated act. Bullying can take many forms. It can be physical and/or emotional. Emotional bullying happens directly (verbally) and indirectly (for example, doing something behind the victim’s back).
Stop Picking On Me written by Pat Thomas and illustrated by Lesley Harker is part of a series that looks at difficult issues. Other titles in the A First Look At series examine death, disability, health and fitness, sibling rivalry and family break-up.
Stop Picking On Me begins by explaining that bullies may look the same as other people but they behave differently, they hurt other people with their words and/or actions. The book goes on to explain that bullies sometimes victimize people they perceive to be different and that bullies have often experienced bullying themselves. The need for each of us to feel loved is explored and bullying’s impact on the victim is looked at. Suggested ways to cope with bullying include talking with someone about the problem and feeling good about oneself.
Endnotes include suggestions for using the book with a child, additional resources and a referral to Parents Anonymous
This book will be most effective if the various observations and suggestions are discussed and explored thoroughly. It could be used together with a role playing activity or an examination of a situation from different points of view.
Best suited for children aged five and up, this is a thoughtful, thorough treatment of a difficult problem; bullying. Dragon and his young friend get together for an enjoyable day of imaginative play. When they meet up with other children, the dragon is told he is not welcome:
“A dragon!” He smirked. “We’ve told you before,
You’re too big, tall and green to play knights anymore!”
“Let’s chase him away!” he cried, raising his shield.
“We’ll vanquish that dragon! We’ll make that beast yield!”
The dragon’s friend responds by standing up for his buddy and, when that does not solve the problem, seeking help from nearby adults. The adults respond promptly and effectively: while one adult talks quietly with the bully’s victim, the other adult chats with the bully and his friends.
The King asked us, “What does it mean to belong?
Was treating the dragon that way right or wrong?”
“Have you ever felt picked on?” I asked. “Have you felt small?
Have you felt like there’s no one who likes you at all?”
Endnotes for the book provide anti bulying information for children as well as ways we can all help to stop bullying.
“Red was a hot head. He liked to pick on Blue, “Red is a great color,” he’d say. “Red is hot. Blue is not.” Then Blue would feel bad about being Blue.”
Red is a loud, brash bully while Blue is a quiet, introspective color. When Red relentlessly picks on him, Yellow, Green, Purple and Orange witness the unkind words and are sympathetic to Blue but they fail to act. The don’t tell Red to stop the abuse. When none of the colors speak up for their friend, Red is emboldened. He grows larger and larger until all of the colors are afraid of him. Thankfully, a newcomer appears, “with bold strokes and squared corners…One stood up straight like an arrow and said, “No.”
Featuring bold, dramatic illustrations and a deceptively simple storyline, One delivers a terrific anti-bullying message. A great read aloud, One offers many opportunities for discussion and the inspiring illustrations will encourage artists young and old.
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