Say Hello by Jack & Michael Foreman is a simply worded and drawn picture book with an equally simple premise. From the jacket flap --
When someone looks lonely and in need of a friend, one little word can help ...The book starts by following a lonely dog who finds a group of kids on a playground and joins in to play. Then it switches to a small boy who feels alone and left out. Luckily the dog notices him and run over to invite him to the group. The kids welcome him with a hearty "Hello!"
I'm sure you are aware that kids on their own make easy targets for bullies. So even if your child isn't bullying, they may be unknowingly contributing to the problem by not being friendly to the kids on the fringes. Teaching them to keep an eye out for lonely or left-out children may make all the difference. This is a perfect way to remind your child of how nice it feels to be included.
Andy Shane and the Very Bossy Dolores Starbuckle. Written by Jennifer Richard Jacobson and illustrated by Abby Carter, this is a book about dealing with a difficult classmate.
Andy Shane (his first and middle name, I think) doesn't want to go to school anymore. He feels harassed and intimidated by Dolores Starbuckle, the class know-it-all. Andy's grandma decides to make a surprise visit to the class to show Andy a different way of dealing with a tough situation than just avoiding it and staying home. He is able to use his own inner strength and smarts to make peace with the difficult Dolores.
Andy Shane's predicament may feel familiar to many kids. He is rarely able to answer a question in class without being interrupted and he's being told on for every little thing he does that veers from the norm even though there is nothing wrong with his choices. This can be very hard on children and make them believe that they don't enjoy school. This book helps show that there are ways to change the situation through one's own actions.
We can all use tools like these books to help navigate the difficult waters of parenthood. Z and I not only read them together but discussed how he felt about the topics and how he felt he was doing in his peer relationships. I plan on donating these books to Z's school in hopes that the right kid will pick them up when they are most needed.
Educating and improving,
K and Z
Support our site and buy Say Hello and Andy Shane and the Very Bossy Dolores Starbuckle on Amazon or find them at your local library. We received copies for review from the publisher, Candlewick Press.