Friday, May 21, 2010

Introducing: Monster Maddie

I try not to get swept up in hatred or intolerance. I try to catch myself before making generalizations about groups of people, and substitute something more reasoned and accurate. But I am here to tell you that I really really really don't like bullies. I have witnessed bullies in schools and in the workplace, and I have seen the devastation their actions cause.

Then one day I saw a child acting in a bullying way and discovered she really had no idea how to make friends with the other kids. The more she tried to get their attention with mean pranks, the more they shunned her. And that was the day my first picture book was born. 

Monster Maddie (written by Susan Stephenson and illustrated by K.C. Snider) is about a little girl at a new school, who wants to make friends. Unfortunately, she does bratty, monsterish things in a desperate effort to be noticed. When Maddie makes a little girl cry, she finally realizes she IS a monster, and feels sad and ashamed. Befriending a kitten shows her the way back to forming healthy relationships with the other kids.

This children's picture book was published by Guardian Angel Publishing, which has an excellent reputation among Homeschool and Christian parents for providing stories that are wholesome but not “preachy”. One great feature is the activities section found at the back of many GAP books. After Maddie’s story, I provide all sorts of follow up activity suggestions, a reader’s theatre script you can use with your kids, and other practical learning ideas to get the maximum value for your money. Monster Maddie is also available through Amazon.

There's a wonderful review of Monster Maddie on its Amazon page, and here is a new one, just in, from Kelly Burstow @ BeAFunMum. Kelly is running a giveaway for a signed copy of Monster Maddie until Friday May 28. 

(If you buy my book, or borrow it from your library, and want to write a review on your blog or at Amazon, please send me the details, as I'd love to link!)

UPDATE: Read the latest review of Monster Maddie on A Peaceful Day blog, by Jeanne Grant Webb. Or check out the great video preview Kim Chatel made about Monster Maddie. 


  1. Katrina Germein21 May, 2010

    Hi Susan, Congratulations on 'Monster Maddie'. It sounds like a great resource. It is always so very sad when children bully because they just don't know how else to join in.

  2. sally apokedak21 May, 2010

    wow! how cool is that? I want to read this.

    I was just at GAPs website earlier this week looking at one of their PBs and was impressed with how great all their books looked.

    Good for you, Book Chook!

  3. Book Chook21 May, 2010

    It IS sad, Katrina, I agree. But I think it's possible to do something about all kinds of bullying by raising awareness, even with younger kids. Or maybe especially with younger kids!

  4. Book Chook21 May, 2010

    Thanks Sally! This is just the first of many I hope!

    There are a lot of things GAP do that works very very well for them but I particularly like the idea of value-adding with activities linked to the actual text. And the choice of ebook or print book makes great sense too.

  5. Rebecca Newman21 May, 2010

    Woohoo, congratulations. So exciting to have your first book out!
    And I agree, the extra activities linked to a particular book is a brilliant idea.

  6. Book Chook21 May, 2010

    Thanks Rebecca. It's lovely to have so many friends to celebrate with!

  7. Karen Collum21 May, 2010

    Congratulations, Susan! I'm delighted for you and your Monster Maddie :) Here's hoping for some lovely reviews soon!

  8. Book Chook21 May, 2010

    One fantastic review already on Amazon, Karen. Thanks for your good wishes!

  9. What a lovely idea to give a bully a second chance. For which age groups would this book work?

  10. Book Chook22 May, 2010

    Paula, I wrote it like that as a way of reaching out to kids who hadn't thought about how their actions might impact others. I hope the story and the activities will give kids a chance to think about positive strategies to gain attention.

    The publisher has ages 4 -10 on the book. I think that's pretty accurate. Mostly I would think it would be read aloud and discussed with children in the early years of school and preschool, because it's a picture book. But I hope it will also serve as a book for emergent readers to try alone.

    Paula, I have lost your blog! Can you leave the url in a comment or email me please. I wanted to catch up on your terrific art ideas.

  11. Dawn Riccardi Morris25 May, 2010

    Congratulations, Susan! What a wonderful idea for a picture book. I wish you much success with it.

  12. Book Chook25 May, 2010

    Thanks, Dawn!

  13. Melissa Taylor26 May, 2010

    Wonderful topic -- this book looks fabulous! Congratulations, Susan!!!


  14. Book Chook26 May, 2010

    Thanks, Melissa!


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