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.