This week has been anti-bullying week, with the theme of One Kind Word, so all of my recommendations link to kindness and bullying. This are books that will help us empathise with others and understand how we can help.
Kindness Grows by Britta Teckentrup is a wonderful peep through poem that reminds us of the power of kindness.
It all starts with a crack that we can hardly see,
It happens when we shout or if we disagree.
But with every kindness that we care to show,
Something good and magical then begins to grow…
Angry words cause a crack to open up, but find out what happens when kindness begins to blossom in this thought-provoking book celebrating friendship, forgiveness, hope and respect.
Paper Boat For Panda by Celestine and the Hare is a heartwarming tale of friendship and kindness, and the joy that they bring to the Tribe. The gently told story shows that the reward for kindness is seeing the pleasure it brings to others.
Panda loves his toy boat, and sailing it across the kitchen rug. What he really wants though, is to sail across the wide, beautiful sea, but he knows it’s just a dream. But, Baby Weasus has an idea, and enlists Small to help. Can friends really make dreams come true?
The stunning needle felted characters, lovingly crafted and photographed by Karin add an extra layer of warmth to this beautiful little book, perfectly sized for little hands.
I love that the story is followed by easy to follow instructions on how to make your own paper boat to sail across your wide, beautiful sea, encouraging imaginative play to extend your enjoyment of this charming book.
For slightly older children, Fly On The Wall by Remy Lai is a thought-provoking look through the eyes of an online bully that helps us to understand his motives and see how his actions affect those around him.
Henry Khoo’s family treats him like a baby. He’s not allowed to go anywhere without his sister/chaperone/bodyguard. And he definitely can’t take a journey halfway around the world all by himself!
But that’s exactly his plan. After his family’s annual trip to visit his father in Singapore is cancelled, Henry decides he doesn’t want to be cooped up at home with his overprotective family and BFF turned NRFF (Not Really Friend Forever). Plus, he’s hiding a your-life-is-over-if-you’re-caught secret: he’s the creator of an anonymous gossip cartoon, and he’s on the verge of getting caught. Determined to prove his independence and avoid punishment for his crimes, Henry embarks on the greatest adventure ever, hoping it won’t turn into the greatest disaster ever.
Laugh out loud funny, this is a wonderful book with a quirky main character that is bound to appeal to fans of Diary Of A Wimpy Kid and Tom Gates.
All The Things That Could Go Wrong by Stewart Foster reminds us that there are always two sides to every story in this emotive, tense tale of two boys struggling to get along.
What I love most about this story is that we get to explore the thoughts and feelings of both the bully and the victim. While we begin to understand Dan’s motives, his behaviour is explained yet never excused, but it does becomes easy to see how life events can change a person’s behaviour. A fantastic read for empathy that will make readers stop and think.
Dan is angry. Nothing has been the same since his big brother left, and he’s taking it out on the
nearest and weakest target: Alex. Alex is struggling. His severe OCD makes it hard for him to leave the house, especially when Dan and his gang are waiting for him at school . . .
Then the boys’ mums arrange for them to meet up and finish building the raft that Dan started with his brother. Two enemies stuck together for the whole of the school holidays – what could possibly go wrong?
Cloud Busting by Malorie Blackman is both a heart breaking and heart warming story told completely in verse as the relationship between two boys alters and changes into something that will affect both of their lives forever.
From haikus to free verse and limericks to calligrams, Malorie Blackman chooses the perfect poetry style to convey the emotion of her characters as we move through the story while Helen van Vliet’s illustrations echo the rawness of the words.
Davey is the new boy in class and Sam can’t stand him. He thinks Davey is plain weird. But when the two are thrown together Sam discovers that Davey’s eccentric way of looking at the world makes life a lot more fun. Until the day something terrible happens…
Happy reading, and remember, one kind word could change somebody’s day!