Back in my school days, some decades ago, bullying wasn't as much of a worrisome matter as it is nowadays. But its damage was as great then as it currently is now. The sole variable, in these present times, is that it has taken on different shapes and forms. As I mentioned previously, my boyfriend was a victim of a bully in his younger years and the repercussions are still felt until now. It affects a person to the deepest of their core. The ripple effect is enormous. And unless you have experienced it, you really have no idea of its capacities basically. We, as a nation, a society, have the responsibility to educate our youngsters. We, as parents and educators, have the responsibility to raise awareness. This predicament will not vanish of its own will. It needs to be addressed. Lessons need to be taught. And this is where this book comes into play.
For this precise article, I wanted to bring in a very special person on board with me. Her name is Shivani Cotter, from Trending Mom. A wonderful individual, a talented blogger and a caring woman who truly wants to make a difference around her. She has made bullying a personal matter. Same as for her, bullying hits home in specific and deeply personal ways. She has taken the decision to turn her real-life experiences and painful memories into a constructive learning tool for all our children. Since the start of her admirable mission, she has been featured in an interview by Care2, which was published on their activist profile page. She has also done some work for Uknowkids.com, an advanced parental intelligence system that makes it easy for us, parents, to keep up with our kids as they grow independent users of the ever-evolving technology. This website allows us to keep them safer online, therefore providing us with some tools to keep an eye on possible bullying. Needless to say, when I asked Shivani to collaborate together, she was more than happy to join in. I would strongly suggest and recommend for you to visit her blog Trending Mom and read the article she has expressly written for the cause, and for the promotion of this book.
This book was put together by The We Do Listen Foundation, a non profit corporation composed of writers, parents, educators, therapists, teachers, artists and designers. It focuses on enabling children to enjoy inner peace and communicate in more effective ways through the different messages vehiculated through their several entertaining and educational books, videos, games and songs. Their mission is help young children learn how to listen, be aware of the important life lessons and feel good about themselves. They believe children who learn these skills will grow up better informed to resolve conflicts and empowered to change the world.
In Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns About Bullies, Howard is tormented by the Snorton twins, who are cruelly taking pleasure into torturing him on a daily basis. Throughout the story, Howard tries by any creative and imaginary means to avoid any possible encounter with the twins... but in vain. All through his adventure, the little voice in his head keeps echoing "Be Brave, Be Bold, a teacher must be told". Until he finally puts his imagination aside and decides to oblige by the little voice in his head and do what he knows is right and what is best. Which, in return, turns out to be a lesson for the Snortons and brings Howard peace and comfort.
Children from ages four to ten are the ones who will truly benefit from this book. It is greatly inviting thanks to, for the most part, its illustrations that are purely unique, grandly colorful, amusing, and yet, extremely communicative. Children can really dive into them and associate themselves easily. As I presented this book to a 7 year-old boy, he has appreciated the story through the images, as it made him comprehend the subject matter more freely. As bullying is not necessarily present in his environment, he has told me that he could still identify situations from school through the storyline. It made him understand that, perhaps, doing the right thing is more precious and valuable than what other people might think or say of him. That it might not only help him, but many other little boys and girls.
From a parent standpoint, I thought the book was absolutely fantastic! The quality of it, the choice of words, the message transpiring through the story, the brilliant illustrations, all come together in a perfect blend. I personally applaud the section at the end that concentrates on providing the readers lessons and reflections on bullying. The author, Howard Binkow, introduces the issue to the youngest of readers in a distinctive way that allows them to connect. Just as if the book is speaking to them, personally and individually. I think such a book should find its way into every household.
The We do Listen Foundation has various books made to teach lessons of all different levels to children. Their mission is admirable and their books are filled with inspirational content for the younger generations. Take the time to go visit their website and while you're there, why not purchase a book for your little one!? Or perhaps have your kiddo play a fun interactive game or even sing along to one of their seven captivating tunes!
I am above and beyond happy and proud to have the opportunity to hand out 2 hard copies of "Howard B. Wiggleton Learns About Bullying". I genuinely wish all parents had this book to read to their child. Perchance, it would make a difference in our world... for the better.
The giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents and will run from June 3rd to the 10th, 12:01a.m. EST time.