National Bullying Prevention Month – PPBF

Today is Friday – I have a children’s book review to add to the Perfect Picture Book resource list that author Susanna Leonard Hill is building on her blog. For more wonderful reviews from authors, educators and others who contributed today, please go here.

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We’ve been so busy with our move, the fact that it is National Bullying Prevention Month almost got past me. We read tragic stories in the media about kids who suffer from bullying so much, they can think of no other option but to take their own lives. The campaign to prevent bullying starts with each one of us. What will you do to help?

One of the things I do is to encourage parents to help their young children develop strong positive self-esteem. Kids who believe they are valuable and worthwhile are much less likely to be bullied. Spending time with your children, whether you are reading, crafting, cooking or simply having a conversation with them, is an important way. Please check out my award-winning parent/teacher resource for quick and easy activities that are fun for the entire family.

Another important element in building self-esteem is feeling loved and accepted. One of the stories on my grandson’s bookshelf is all about this.

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THE KISS BOX

Written by Bonnie Verburg

Illustrated by Henry Cole

Publisher: Orchard Books (2011)

Ages: 3 and up

Themes:

Separation anxiety, feeling loved

Opening Lines:

“Mama Bear was always home, and that’s how Little Bear liked it. But sooner or later, all mama bears need to go away, even if it’s just for a little while.” Continue reading

PPBF: Fancy Nancy and the Mean Girl…Dealing with Bullies

Today is Perfect Picture Book Friday where I link up with Susanna Leonard Hill’s fantastic group of picture book writers, illustrators, librarians and others who contribute a picture book review.

Before we get to our picture book review and craft activity, I want to share some things with you.

  • I offered to send a Halloween Prize Package to one of the people who visited and ‘liked’ the new FB page for Show Me How!  Fifty names were entered in the Random.org drawing…and today I mailed out the Halloween cupcake set and a Halloween board book to Annie in Thornton, CO.  She has two little boys so I know she will enjoy the prize with them.  Thanks to everyone who participated!
  • It’s always a joy to get book orders from libraries because it means that hundreds of people will be able to use the book…I just received an order for two copies from the United Library Service in CALGARY, ALBERTA…yes, that’s right…CANADA!
  • We’ve decided to extend the FREE SHIPPING for anyone who orders my book throughout the holiday season!
  • Thursday morning I had two school presentations at Steele Elementary in Colorado Springs.  We read “Yes We Can” by Sam McBratney…a great picture book that addresses teasing and bullying.  The kids loved the story…even more, they loved talking about what they like to do with their friends (play, share, be kind, say I’m sorry if you hurt their feelings)…and what friends shouldn’t do to each other (don’t hit, don’t kick, don’t tease, don’t laugh at, don’t be mean).

After the story, each child made their own book of friendship.

Our challenge, as educators and as parents, is to find a way to keep alive the enthusiasm for learning that young children embrace naturally.

Our Perfect Picture Book Friday choice is a story that addresses bullying and teasing…in honor of National Bullying Prevention Month.

Written by Jane O’Connor

Illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser

Publisher: Harper Collins (2011)

Ages: 4 and up

Themes:

Believing in yourself, courage, determination, bullying, teasing, communication, friendship

Synopsis:

Fancy Nancy has a relay race coming up…she remembers that last year her team lost because she was so slow and she was made to feel badly by one of her teammates.  Nancy pretends to have injured her foot so that she won’t have to run in the race, but her father notices that she limps on her left foot sometimes, and her right foot at other times.  When her father speaks with her, Nancy confesses the problem and has a long talk with him.  On the day of the race, Nancy confronts the ‘mean’ girl and tells her that although she is a great runner, she is not a good sport.  Does this show of courage help Nancy win the race?  You’ll have to read the book to find out!

Why do I like this book:

I opened this book prepared to NOT like it.  Although it is considered a picture book, it is also a ‘first reader’ type of book.  I had been turned off by the ‘hype’ of ‘Fancy Nancy’ and all of the assorted merchandising products out there.

As I read the book, the frequent definitions of ‘big’ words bothered me at first.  There is also a page at the back of the book with the same definitions.  But then I put myself in the place of a child…and I loved the book…and the definitions seemed to fit.

The messages of the story are fantastic…believe in yourself, communicate with your family when you have a problem, confront bullies with words and let them know how they are making you feel.  Children deal with real-life situations like this one every day…this would be a great story to read to your child…or for a teacher to read to a class.

The illustrations also convey the message of the story and help move it forward to a satisfactory conclusion.  The expressions on the girls’ faces are perfect!

RELATED ACTIVITIES:

A Storybook of Friends

Kids love to make their own books.

You will need: 1 piece of colored construction paper for the cover, 2 sheets of copy paper for the inside pages, crayons or markers and a stapler.

  1. Fold the pages in half with the construction paper sheet on the outside as the cover.
  2. Staple them so they will not fall out but can still turn.
  3. Let the child draw on the front cover and write the title of the book. (During my presentation, some of the kids decorated the back cover as well, telling me that the back of books had pictures and words also.)
  4. Encourage the child to draw a picture on each page, showing the child with his or her friends, playing, sharing, helping, listening.

Talk about teamwork and how each person on the team contributes their best.

Plan a playdate or sleepover for a couple of your child’s classmates.  This is especially important if your child is in a new school or community and is feeling out of place.

This post is part of a series for parents and teachers called Perfect Picture Book Fridays hosted by Susanna Leonard Hill.  Click on her link and find lots of other picture book suggestions with summaries and activities.   This is an unbelievable resource for any parent, teacher or children’s librarian.