Finn’s Feather, a book review

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Title: Finn’s Feather
by: Rachel Noble
illustrated by: Zoey Abbott
Publisher: Enchanted Lion Books

Finn discovers an amazing white feather right on his doorstep.
Could it be from his brother Hamish who is now an angel?

Finn’s Feather is a rare book. It’s a book of acceptance, of understanding, of remembering, of healing, of love – a love that never vanishes; a love that cannot be contained by time or place.

Author, Rachel Noble, has penned a picture book that reaches out a hand to hold on to others as they walk the path of the loss of a child, not only for siblings, but also for parents. Rachel was inspired to write Finn’s Feather after the loss of her son, Hamish, in 2012. Shortly after the story took shape, she found a feather on her doorstep.

The story is told gently through the eyes of a child, Finn, who believes his brother left the feather on the doorstep. At first, the reader is unaware that Finn’s brother, Hamish, is no longer on the earth. He could be away or living elsewhere. It is only when a discussion between Finn and his friend takes place and the word ‘angel’ is used, that you reach a deeper understanding of the story.

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Artist, Zoey Abbott, has recreated the mood and emotion of each scene of the story intuitively with compassion. The use of coloured pencil and watercolour washes make a more real-life connection to the heart of the story than the use of digital illustration would have.

Finn’s Feather is not just for children. It’s for everyone. It’s a tool to open up discussion about the sometimes, taboo subject of death. It’s a tool to bridge emotional connections and understanding of those who have lost a loved one. And it’s a tool for remembrance, and a light in the darkness of grief. And quietly and gently, it’s also a celebration of a life.

Purchase a copy: Finn’s Feather by Rachel Noble

Title: Finn’s Feather
by: Rachel Noble
illustrated by: Zoey Abbott
Publisher: Enchanted Lion Books
ISBN: 9781592702749
Category: 4 years +
Pages: 56

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Reviewed by Julieann Wallace
(Dip T, B. Ed, Author, Illustrator, Tea Ninja, Cadbury Chocolate Annihilator)
https://www.facebook.com/julieannwallaceonethousandwords/
https://www.julieannwallaceauthor.com/

Julieann is a member of:

 

Cat Spies Mouse, a book review

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Title: Cat Spies Mouse
by: Rina A Foti
illustrated by: Dave Atze
Publisher: Big Sky Publishing

What happens when an impatient and arrogant cat spies a humble and patient mouse?
An exciting read-aloud story about how a small mouse who asks BIG questions changes the world.

Author, Rina A Foti has written a story that has a theme that young children are familiar with in the animal world – mouse vs cat and cat vs dog. Kids will totally get it. They will also understand the repeated words, “That’s not fair!”

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Illustrator, Dave Atze has created colourful, likeable characters that leap off the page,  showing their personality through facial expressions, poses and humour that will attract children’s interest and make them giggle, but also help to develop empathy for the under-dog character in each situation.

There is no doubt that this story will open up discussion on the topic of fairness – at school, as well as at home, and question the notion about doing things without thinking, just because “that is what is expected”, or “that is the way it has always been done”. But why? And is it reasonable, or fair?

There are two outstanding take-aways from this tale: one is the courage and bravery of the mouse to question what cat is doing, and the other is that the cat can absolutely not understand how mouse feels, until what he is doing to mouse, happens to him. It’s kind of satisfying to see him get a taste of his own medicine, plus being covered in dog-stomach-goop at the end.

Purchase a copy: Cat Spies Mouse picture book

Title: Cat Spies Mouse
by: Rina A Foti
illustrated by: Dave Atze
Publisher: Big Sky Publishing
ISBN: 9781925675344
Category: Children, Fiction, Humour, Inspiration, Social Issues
Pages: 32

This book was given to Julieann by Big Sky Publishing for review.

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Reviewed by Julieann Wallace
(Dip T, B. Ed, Author, Illustrator, Tea Ninja, Cadbury Chocolate Annihilator)
https://www.facebook.com/julieannwallaceonethousandwords/
https://www.julieannwallaceauthor.com/

Julieann is a member of:

Slowly! Slowly! a book review

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Title: Slowly! Slowly!
by: T. M. Clark
illustrated by: Helene Magisson
Publisher: Wombat Books

Slowly, slowly, you catch a monkey …

Bongani wants to go to school but he is too young. To prove to his family that he is big and strong just like his cousins, he tries to catch a monkey.
Slowly, slowly, he must go.
Luckily his family is there to school him in the lessons of patience and compassion.

I love the very first sentence of Slowly! Slowly! written by author, T. M. Clark:

Bongani stood tall.

It is brimming with anticipation. And as you read on, you can feel the blanket of peace and love that surrounds the main character. The words of the story also whisper that same blanket to you, gently, gently, like the singing of a lullaby.

Slowly! Slowly! is a clever story. Imbued into the tale is the unfolding guidance of how to catch a monkey with the kind encouragement of the father, the calm teaching of the grandfather, and the insightful way of looking at a problem from a different point of view, which is a way of teaching resilience.

Inside the story, we follow a young child named Bongani, while he tries to catch a monkey. His failed attempts are followed by guidance from his grandfather, revealed layer by layer, teaching Bongani patience; a virtue that is sometimes lost in the busy-ness of our lives today.

I particularly enjoyed the way Bongani’s family would work out whether he was ready for school …

‘Dad, am I big enough?
Am I higher than the hyena?
Can I go to school?’

Mathematically, the act of measuring your height against an animal to see if you are tall enough to go to school is full of imagination and excitement. This comparison would make an interesting discussion in families and schools.

Illustrator, Helene Magisson, has once again shown her extraordinary artistic talent in the pages of Slowly! Slowly! and has created a visual space where a variety of thoughts and ideas coexist in addition to the text, telling a story where the words don’t, or where the words imply particular ideas or feelings. Helene’s choice of gentle tones wraps around the mind of the reader, encouraging a connection and deep understanding of the character of Bongani.

Parents and teachers will love Slowly! Slowly! as author, T.M. Clark, deploys with sparkling effect, the use of alliteration, repetition, word rhythm and story building. The tale naturally lends itself to variance of voice as you read, from gentle words to the shouting of “GO AWAY!”

Slowly! Slowly! is an engaging and heart-warming story that is a must for children to read. Patience, compassion and resilience speak a gentle heart-song through the story, gifting children with mind tools to use through their lifetime.

(Slowly! Slowly! is adapted as a South African story, this variation of ‘Softly, softly, catchee monkey’ was originally an Ashanti (Ghana) proverb quoted by Lord Robert Baden-Powell, Founder of the Boy Scouts)

Purchase a copy: Slowly! Slowly!

Title: Slowly! Slowly!
Author: T. M. Clark
Illustrator: Helene Magisson
Publisher: Wombat Books
Format: 9781925563221
ISBN: Hard cover
For ages: 3+

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Reviewed by Julieann Wallace
(Dip T, B. Ed, Author, Illustrator, Tea Ninja, Cadbury Chocolate Annihilator)
www.facebook.com/julieannwallaceonethousandwords
www.julieannwallaceauthor.com

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The Duke of Hinklewinkle, a book review

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Title: The Duke of Hinklewinkle
Written and illustrated by: John Phillips
Publisher: Big Sky Publishing

Bridget lives in the sleepy, seaside town of Hinklewinkle. She spends a lot of time with her Grandpa. Her mother often has to work late and her father lives in another town. Luckily, her caring Grandpa is always close at hand to help out. Grandpa breeds show chickens and Bridget loves to help out. One day when Bridget is feeling a little lonely, Grandpa decides to let Bridget pick a chicken of her own. Far from picking the most beautiful chicken, she picks a strange looking rooster she names the “Duke of Hinklewinkle”. The two become inseparable. When Grandpa’s cranky old neighbour, Mr Borewater’s chickens are under threat, The Duke of Hinklewinkle surprises everyone.

If you like chickens, then The Duke of Hinklewinkle is for you. It’s a picture book narrative for primary aged children, written in third person, by author and illustrator, John Phillips.

In the story we meet Bridget, who lives in a sleepy, seaside town. Her grandpa breeds show chickens and lets her choose her very own chicken. After carefully considering the Long Beaked Australorp, the Stilt Legged Sussex, the Giant Combed Old English Bantam and the Headless Brahma, Bridget chooses a very unusual and slightly odd-looking rooster—a Big Beaked Pencilled Hortner—and names him, “The Duke of Hinklewinkle”. They become best friends in no time. But trouble is looming in the form of the next-door neighbour, Mr Borewater, who tells Bridget that Big Beaked Pencilled Hortners are silly birds. Little does he know that something is about to happen in the dark night to prove him wrong.

As an artist, John Phillips has created colourful and quirky illustrations to accompany his story. The illustrated chickens are guaranteed to keep the reader entertained.

The Duke of Hinklewinkle is a story with a diverse family – Bridget’s grandfather helps with her upbringing as well as her mother, while her father works in a different town. The big theme of the book is friendships, not only Bridget and her chicken, but neighbourly friendship as well.

Purchase a copy: The Duke of Hinklewinkle

Title: The Duke of Hinklewinkle
Written and illustrated by: John Phillips
Publisher: Big Sky Publishing
ISBN: 9781925675191
Category: primary
Pages: 32

Julieann received this book from Big Sky Publishing for review.

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Reviewed by Julieann Wallace
(Dip T, B. Ed, Published Author, Illustrator, Tea Ninja, Cadbury Chocolate Annihilator)
www.facebook.com/julieannwallaceonethousandwords
www.julieannwallaceauthor.com

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The Dream Bird, a book review

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Title: The Dream Bird
by: Aleesah Darlison
illustrated by: Emma Middleton
Publisher: Wombat Books

Once upon a time in a faraway land there lived the rarest of rare birds. The Dream Bird. George is a day child. He rollicks and romps in the light. But at night, George just can’t seem to get to sleep. That is, until Gran tells him a bedtime story about a magical bird who sings children to sleep. Will the Dream Bird’s magic work on George?

A stunning bedtime book that will enchant readers young and old.

Some children have a difficult time trying to go to sleep. I think I have found the sleep potion. It’s a book called The Dream Bird, written by multi-published author, Aleesah Darlison.

In the story we meet a young boy, George—a day child who can’t sleep at night, not even after counting one hundred sheep walking backwards, and drinking warm milk to lull him to sleep.

His wonderful Gran comes to the rescue with a beautiful story about the most beautiful bird in the world—The Dream Bird.

Artist (and author), Emma Middleton,  has created exceptional dreamlike illustrations with colours that flow with a divine harmony, expressing calmness, contentment, peacefulness, relaxation, and tranquility, that are sure to sprinkle the magic of sleep dust.

The Dream Bird could be a life-saver for parents with kids who have a troublesome time trying to sleep. Aleesah’s use of descriptive words will paint a calming vision in a child’s imagination, helping them to change from their unsettled mind to one where they are encouraged to concentrate on their own favourite things, lulling them to sleep.

Purchase a copy: The Dream Bird

Title: The Dream Bird
by: Aleesah Darlison
illustrated by: Emma Middleton
Publisher: Wombat Books
ISBN: 9781925563337
Category: children
Pages: 32

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Reviewed by Julieann Wallace
(Dip T, B. Ed, Author, Illustrator, Tea Ninja, Cadbury Chocolate Annihilator)
https://www.facebook.com/julieannwallaceonethousandwords/
https://www.julieannwallaceauthor.com/

Julieann is a member of:

Marvellous Mummy, a book review

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Title: Marvellous Mummy
by: Katie Poli
illustrated by: Giuseppe Poli
Publisher: New Frontier

My mummy is cuddly and snuggly and warm.

Mums can be funny and friendly and gentle and strong … all in one day!
This sweet and simple picture book will delight Mums and children everywhere.

Marvellous Mummy is marvellous! Although, I’d liked to call it ‘Magnificent Marvellous Mummy’! Author, Katie Poli, has captured everything mums can, and have to be. Each page of the book captures the essence of a mother, whether it is when she’s being kind or caring, or silly or fancy, or noisy or grumpy, or clever or brave … mums are all of those things, plus more. And the plus more is the love imbued in the illustrations by illustrator, Giuseppe Poli.

Marvellous Mummy is an inspiring book. It not only celebrates the gentle, caring side of motherhood, but also the fiercely protective side of motherhood. It’s a feel-good picture book that hits you in the heart with an explosion of warm fuzzy feelings.

There’s a pause in the text of the story, three-quarters of the way through the book that I love, where a double page illustration resides. It’s like the story builds up in its crescendo, then glides in silence on that textless page, before the story floats down and resumes in gentle tones. It’s completely satisfying.

Illustrator, Giuseppe Poli has used the most glorious shades of colour throughout the story, hitting the ‘Mummy’ factor spot on. He has also used eye expression in the characters to show the love and adoration between the mother and child.

Marvellous Mummy has a high rating on the ‘read-aloud-ability’ scale. The variance of voice pitch, intonation and expression, when sharing Marvellous Mummy with your own child, or a group of children, will vary from soft to loud and strong, and back to soft again. I know that children will adore this book, particularly the repetitive three-word sentences that will have children joining in with the reading, and relishing in the feel of the words on their tongue as they say them – ‘Tickle, tickle, squeeze.’ See what I mean.

Marvellous Mummy is a beautiful book written and illustrated with heart. It will absolutely ‘sparkle, sparkle, shine’ into your memories as precious time shared with your child as you read it together.

Purchase a Copy: Marvellous Mummy
Teacher Notes: Marvellous Mummy Tteaching Notes.pdf

Title: Marvellous Mummy
by: Katie Poli
Illustrated by: Giuseppe Poli
Publisher: New Frontier
ISBN: 978-1-925594-18-8
Category: 3 – 6 years
Pages: 28

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Reviewed by Julieann Wallace
(Dip T, B. Ed, Author, Illustrator, Tea Ninja, Cadbury Chocolate Annihilator)
https://www.facebook.com/julieannwallaceonethousandwords/
https://www.julieannwallaceauthor.com/

Julieann is a member of:

Young MacDonald, book review

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Title: Young MacDonald
Written and Illustrated by: Giuseppe Poli
Publisher: Yellow Brick Books

In this fun twist on an old favourite, Young MacDonald’s vivid imagination transforms an otherwise ordinary day on the farm into his grandest adventure yet …

The classic, Old MacDonald Had a Farm, was originally a cumulative nursery rhyme about farm animals and their sounds that children the world over loved to join in with since 1917. In England, 1908, an even older version of this song was discovered.

The success of the nursery rhyme’s longevity is tied up in the repetition of verses, and the animals and the sounds they make, giving the nursery rhyme a fun and feel good reaction. Old MacDonald had a Farm is an easy story to innovate on, which teachers in classrooms around the globe have been doing for years.

And indeed, that is what author and illustrator, Giuseppe Poli, has done. No longer is it just about Old MacDonald. He now has a son—a farm boy, born and bred. However, Young MacDonald has a wild imagination, one that strays from the farm animals and to the earth, the sky, the sea and the last frontier, space, collecting farm animals as he goes on his adventure of imagination.

Children will enjoy this bright and happy book as they join in the choruses of digging and splashing and chopper-ing and burbling and zooming. I’m sure it will be a favourite go-to book for young children, requested to be read over and over again.

Purchase a copy: Young MacDonald

Title: Young MacDonald
Written and Illustrated by: Giuseppe Poli
Publisher:  Yellow Brick Books
ISBN: 9780994557018
Pages: 32 pages

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Reviewed by Julieann Wallace
(Dip T, B. Ed, Author, Illustrator, Tea Ninja, Cadbury Chocolate Annihilator)
/www.facebook.com/julieannwallaceonethousandwords
www.julieannwallaceauthor.com

Julieann is a member of:

7 Absolute Musts of Writing a Picture Book

 

Picture books play an absolute vital and pivotal role in the lives of children. There are numerous studies that show children who are read picture books from birth up to, and including while still going to school, are smarter and have more empathy for others – yes – they are kinder! And thankfully, there is never a shortage of authors who are passionate about writing picture books. As an experienced teacher of 25 years, I have personally observed the power of books. By 8 years of age, there is a notable difference between children who have been read to at home, and those who have not.

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Children prefer real books rather than screens
Why reading the same book repeatedly is good for kids

After 5 years of working as a publisher and book designer with picture book authors, I’d like to share 7 points that will help authors along in their journey:

1. Writing a picture book is not as easy as it seems. You need to read lots and lots of picture books so you can internalize what writing a children picture book story is about. And there is a certain knack to writing a successful picture book. You will also develop your own individual style and voice.

2. Your story must have a beginning, middle and end – also known as a story arc.

3. There must be a problem that needs to be solved. If there’s no problem, there’s no story!

4. Don’t tell kids what to think with your writing. It’s the biggest turn off for children. Kids are clever, and feel a great sense of achievement when they understand the gist of the story without you telling them. You want kids to make an emotional feel good connection to your book, so they want to read it again and again.

5. Don’t talk down to kids. Build them up. Use those interesting words that will inspire!

6. Less words can often have more impact.

7. Illustrations are vitally important – they also tell the story – are there words in your writing you can leave out that can be shown in the illustration?

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Traditionally Published vs Independently Published. Which to Choose?

If you’re not quite sure about the difference between traditionally published and independently published, read this article by Joanna Penn. It provides a good description of both.

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Preparing Your Picture Book to Traditionally Publish

• Write your story. Edit, rewrite, read it out loud, rewrite.
• Put it away for a while. When you return to it, you will see it with new eyes. You will find bits of it that you love, and others that simply don’t work.
• Write a final version of your story, then send it to an editor. This is a vital step for you to have the best version of your story. Don’t be surprised if you need to do some adjustments and rewrites. All authors, no matter how experienced or famous they are, always have to rewrite to make their work shine.
• Polish your final version …
• Research which traditional publishers you would like to send your manuscript to before you send it off, and ensure that you follow their guidelines (do you need an agent or not? Are they closed for submissions? Do they publish picture books?) Make sure you format your manuscript to their specifications.

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Preparing Your Picture Book to Indie Publish 

Authors have a bubbling enthusiasm about their story. And rightly so. However, there is a series of steps to follow, even with the self-publishing of your book. If you are investing in publishing a book that the eyes of the world will read, it makes sense to educate yourself about how to go about it. This is what it looks like:

1. Story
Writing your story is exactly the same as writing it with the intention of securing a traditional publishing contract. Independent publishing does not mean lesser quality stories, and it never, ever should be.

• Write your story. Edit, rewrite, read it out loud, rewrite.
• Put it away for a while. When you return to it, you will see it with new eyes. You will find bits of it that you love, and others that simply don’t work.
• Write a final version of your story, then send it to an editor. This is a vital step for you to have the best version of your story. Don’t be surprised if you need to do some adjustments and rewrites. All authors, no matter how experienced or famous they are, always have to rewrite to make their work shine.
• Polish your final version …

2. Storyboard

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storyboard by inkygirl.com

The storyboard is a pivotal stage of development of your book. The impact of your story hinges on your storyboard, and the placement of the page turn in keeping the attention of your readers so they are invested in your story. The storyboard is also the magic key for your illustrator to bring your story to life through the gift of their creative artwork. Have you nailed the timing of your page turn? If you’re not sure, you can find out here.

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3. Illustrations

The final and important part of the journey of a book is the illustrations. Before your illustrator begins the final illustrations – it is imperative they know the size of your book (you’ll need to discuss these major details with your publisher, or the printer you have chosen). Your illustrator also needs to know:

• About page bleed
• Not to place major components of illustrations in the middle of a page spread, where parts may be lost in the spine binding of the book, or the image doesn’t align correctly due to variables during the printing process.

If you decide to independently publish, send your manuscript to your chosen indie publisher/self-publishing company, and they should guide you from there.

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And remember, whatever your journey is with your story – don’t go it alone. Connect with other authors, or join a writing group, network. Authors love to help each other out.

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Julieann Wallace
(Dip T, B. Ed, Multi-Published Author, Illustrator, Tea Ninja, Cadbury Chocolate Annihilator, CEO of Lilly Pilly Publishing)

www.facebook.com/julieannwallaceonethousandwords/
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Pugs Don’t Wear Pyjamas, a book review

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Title: Pugs Don’t Wear Pyjamas
by: Michelle Worthington
illustrated by: Cecilia Johansson
Publisher: New Frontier

When Tom visits his aunt he meets her pug Ellie.
Ellie is no ordinary pug. Wherever Tom’s aunt goes, her pug must go too. His aunt dresses Ellie up for every outing.
Tom finds Ellie strange but she makes friends wherever she goes. Tom makes no friends. He realises something has to change.

Pugs in books are popular, and Ellie the pug is no exception in Pugs Don’t’ Wear Pyjamas. Young readers will giggle at Ellie’s human antics as she wears pyjamas to bed, drinks out of a straw and rides a skateboard, amongst other crazy activities.

Ellie the pug isn’t the only star of the story. There’s another character who is very likeable—a boy named Tom who meets Ellie at his Aunt Roz’s house when he goes to stay there. Tom marvels at Ellie the pug – the wondrous dog. But jealousy surfaces while Tom watches as Ellie makes a million friends with ease, but Tom doesn’t. And then one day, disaster strikes. Supposedly under Tom’s watchful eye, Ellie goes missing, and Tom is devastated, filled with guilt.

Illustrator, Cecilia Johansson has captured the differing moods of the story with beautiful, colourful, eye-catching pictures that will have eyes looking with excitement as children listen to the story unfold. And while they listen, multi-published author, Michelle Worthington, has cleverly lured her readers into the story with the adorable pug, Ellie, and then in a whisper, Ellie disappears, making hearts beat a little faster with worry. Thankfully, Michelle adds an extra surprise at the end of the story that will have readers buzzing with excitement. Perhaps there could be an Ellie the pug picture book number two?

Purchase a copy: www.newfrontier.com.au/books/pugs-dont-wear-pyjamas

Title: Pugs Don’t Wear Pyjamas
by: Michelle Worthington
Illustrated by: Cecilia Johansson
Publisher: New Frontier
ISBN: 978-1-925594-03-4
Age: 3-6 years
Pages: 24

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Reviewed by Julieann Wallace
(Dip T, B. Ed, Author, Illustrator, Tea Ninja, Cadbury Chocolate Annihilator)
www.facebook.com/julieannwallaceonethousandwords
www.julieannwallaceauthor.com

Julieann is a member of:

Shattered Souls and Dreams – Bullying

When I was a teacher, there was a question I used with kids. Frequently.

Are you okay?’

Powerful words.

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image from arc.unsw.edu.au

And then it was my job to listen without judgement, and to take it from there. Sometimes it was even before a child stepped foot into the classroom in the morning.

There’s an issue that seems to be escalating in society. Bullying.

Here’s the thing about bullying …
It’s a worldwide problem.

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Here’s the thing about bullies …
Once, they were not a bully. They weren’t born with that trait.
They’re vulnerable people, like everyone else.
There is an underlying hurt that all bullies carry, and they are trying to mend it, to feel better. There’s something in their lives that they have no control over, so they lash out with the belief that it will make them feel better. Except it doesn’t, and they get caught in a cycle that damages themselves as well as their target.
Their behaviour is a reflection of someone who is bullying them, or of something about themselves that they hate.
Their aggressive behaviour is covering up their low self-esteem, in an attempt to feel better about themselves.
When they are not surrounded by their ‘friends’, they tend not to bully.

Here’s the thing about people. Including bullies …
We all need to belong.
We all need to feel that we are accepted.
We all need to feel that we are loved.

Here’s the thing about being human …
We’re not all the same. We never will be. Our differences are what makes our world interesting, and alive, and colourful. And that’s the way it is meant to be. It’s something to be celebrated.

Here’s the bottom line …
We live in an imperfect world. There will always be bullies – verbal bullies, physical bullies, social bullies, the bullying of exclusion, cyber bullies, etc. Schools seem to cop the barrage of blame. But bullies aren’t just at school, they’re at work, at home, at parties, at sport, at art class, dance class … everywhere.

What to do …
Let’s get off the blame-game merry-go-round. There are too many bruised and broken souls and a trail of irreparable destruction from bullying. And death.

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It’s time to make a change, for the bullied, and the bully.
To date, we have tried to focus on the bully exclusively, with limited success.
We have tried to give the bullied strategies to stop the bullying, with limited success.     It’s time to look around. What do you see?
Bystanders.
They have the power to change everything. Everything.

There’s a saying for when something bad happens –

“Look for the helpers, there’s always helpers!”

Let’s apply it to bullying situations –

“Look for the bystanders, there’s always bystanders!”

Here’s the thing about bystanders – you have already seen them in action … they are the heroes …

Have you ever watched a sportsperson pull a team member away from a fight? That’s a bystander.
Have you ever watched a sportsperson touch an angry team mate’s shoulder and told them to let it go, and remove them from the situation? That’s a bystander.
Have you ever watched a team gather around one of their own players and remove them from the volatility of the situation? That’s a bystander.
That’s what bystanders do. And it’s about distraction, diffusing a volatile situation, dispelling the destructive energy aimed at another person.

A bystander can be anyone. They can be the bully’s friend. They can be the bullied’s friend. They’re standing by. Observing.

It’s time to take action.

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But here’s another less well-known fact about bystanders
If there’s a group of people, less of them will step in to help. Why? It’s called the ‘bystander effect’. And it’s a social phenomenon.
People don’t like to step out of their comfort zone, in front of others.
People think that someone will do something first, and they wait for others to take that step.

 

Here’s the thing about schools …
Education empowers. Schools and teachers work with dedication to help our children. Always. We have the ‘High Five’ strategy to deal with bullies. Children know what bully behaviour looks and feels like. But now we need to educate our kids about the “bystander effect”. We need to tell them not to wait for another person to do something – because that person is waiting for someone else, which leads to nobody helping.

We need to encourage others to step boldly. STEP. BOLDLY. Be courageous.

I was helping at a party once. It was full of teenagers. There was a magnificent creation of birthday cupcakes and the happy birthday song was sung. But then, no one came forward to take a cupcake to eat. How strange …

I’m an observer, an analyser, a problem solver. I knew there was nothing wrong with the cupcakes. The problem wasn’t the cupcakes, it was a social entity.
I watched as one brave soul stepped forward and took a cupcake, and guess what, so did the others.

It takes just one person to step out of their comfort zone. Step boldly. 

Here’s the thing about the responsibility of being part of the human race …
It’s about looking out for your mates. It’s about knowing what is right and wrong and taking a stand. Bullying is always wrong. Everyone knows that. 

Here’s the thing about accountability …

We all have a choice. What will you choose?
I encourage you to step boldly, if you are a bystander, if it is safe for you to do so. If not, call for help. Don’t expect someone else to do it.

To the bully and the bullied … helpers are everywhere … reach out.

And please ask your own kids – 

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julieann

Julieann Wallace
(Dip T, B. Ed, multiple-published author, illustrator, tea ninja, Cadbury chocoholic)

www.facebook.com/julieannwallaceonethousandwords/
www.julieannwallaceauthor.com/

Darth is the new fish on the block. And there’s a gang with a leader who is not so nice. There’s a bystander. Can he change the outcome of Darth’s plight?
Dedicated to Steve Jobs.

Purchase a copy of Darth (published by Little Steps Publishing), at online bookstores, or get a signed copy at www.lillypillypublishing.com/product-page/darth-1 and download the FREE 37 page teaching resource pack at free-darth-teaching-resources-37-pages 

 

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