Today I am sharing two new books about bullying, published by Magination Press. They both deal with different aspects of bullying and compliment each other well. They are both great classroom discussion books.
Big, Brave, Bold Sergio
Debbie Wagenbach, Author
Jamie Tablason, Illustrator
Magination Press, Fiction, Mar. 19, 2018
Suitable for Ages: 4-8
Themes: Turtles, Animals, Bullying, Peer Pressure, Taking a stand, Kindness
Opening: Sergio liked swimming with the Snappers. He felt BIG when they scattered the minnows.
Synopsis: Sergio and The Snappers are the toughest turtles in the pond! Swimming with them makes Sergio feel Big, Brave and Bold! But soon he starts to notice how the other animals run and hide when the Snappers swim by; frogs flee, tadpoles tremble, and ducks depart the pond! Sergio doesn’t like it, and stands up to his friends, only to become the new target of the gang’s bullying, especially after he befriends some of the fish. But then something happens to one of the Snappers and Sergio has a choice to make.
Baxter and Danny Stand Up to Bullying
James M. Foley, Author
Shirley Ng-Benitez, Illustrator
Magination Press, Fiction, Mar. 15, 2018
Suitable for Ages: 4-8
Themes: Animals, Bullying, Taking a stand, Problem-solving, Friendship
Opening: Baxter the Bunny was the fastest animal in the forest. Danny the Bear was the best dancer.
Synopsis: When Baxter, Danny and the rest of the forest animals are picked on by Buford Blue Jay and his bird friends, they have to figure out what to do. The piercing “screech, screech” of the Blue Jays was loud and their name calling was hurtful. With the support of all the forest animals and Queen Beth of the Bees, they all learn to stand up to Buford’s bullying in a positive way.
Why I like these bullying books:
Each book approaches bullying from a different perspective — the bully and the victims. In the first book Sergio is a bully until his conscience begins to bother him. He deals with peer pressure from the other Snappers and soon becomes their target. In the second book the animals of the forest are the target of bullying by the Blue Jays. Working together helps empower the animals and gives them the confidence to take a stand.
Readers will identify with the name-calling, insults, threats, fear and anger. They will learn how to cope with peer pressure, assert themselves, build self-esteem, problem solve and find solutions that work. I also like the emphasis on learning to have compassion.
Children will be delighted with the large, bold and expressive artwork. There is so much detail to explore. Both illustrators ably capture the lively action in the stories and compliment the authors’ text.
Resources: Both books include “Note to Parents and Caregivers” about how to prevent bullying, cope with peer pressure, become resilient and develop an attitude of kindness towards others. Theses are great discussion books for home or classroom reading.
Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books (PPB) with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.
*I received a review copies of Big, Brave, Bold Sergio and Baxter and Danny Stand Up to Bullying from the publisher. The opinions in this review are entirely my own.