Ouch! Moments: When Words Are Used in Hurtful Ways
Michael Genhart, Author
Viviana Garofoli, Illustrator
Magination Press, Fiction, Sep. 22, 2015
Suitable for Ages: 5-8
Themes: Hurtful words, Microaggressions, Insults, Conduct, Caring, Empowerment
Opening: “When a bee stings, Ouch! That hurts! Catching a finger in a closing door hurts a lot. Ouch! Hearing a mean thing or ugly word hurts too. That is definitely an Ouch moment!”
Synopsis: Sometimes kids use hurtful words to put down another child. They can be said by a child when they are trying to be funny, “oink goes the pig” or “he throws like a girl.” They can be used by kids to have power over other kids to make them feel small. Ouch moments happen quickly and other kids don’t know what to do. When these moments occur, the perpetrator, the victim and the bystanders need help. Readers will be encouraged to be caring and take a stand.
Why I like this book:
Michael Genhart introduces readers to “ouch moments” that are usually directed towards a child that is different. His thoughtful book will help parents, teachers and children recognize mean, ugly, and hurtful words. The language is simple, hopeful and ideal for kids. The characters are believable. Children will learn strategies that will empower them to stand up to insults and hurtful language. This is a book that all children can identify with because they have been on both sides, as the perpetrator and receiver. Genhart also helps kids to recognize their own hurtful language in a way that doesn’t shame. Many times they repeat something they’ve heard from someone else. Viviana Garofoli’s illustrations are colorful, expressive and compliment the story.
Resources: This book is a resource for home and in the classroom. It is great resource for school teachers at the beginning of the school year to talk with kids about hurtful language and share their “ouch moments.” There is a Note to Parents and Caregivers about microaggressions, and strategies for talking to children about hurtful language, discrimination and bias.