Our latest Parragon book buddy delivery is The Bully and the Shrimp picture book by Catherine Allison and Kim Greyer. I wasn’t sure at first as to whether talking about bullying was something I really wanted to introduce to N in the year before he starts school, but he seems to have just taken it as another story.
The picture book introduces Noah Shrimpton who’s a bit small and starts a new school, Connor who picks on him and what happens next.
It’s a great way to introduce gently the idea of bullying both on the receiving end and what changes can happen, along with the different ways that children can cope with it. Noah manages to find the strength to stand up to the bully, and in my view that, plus the telling someone what’s going on is exactly the right message to be sending to children to might find themselves or a friend in that situation.
I do think books are a great medium for informing children, and we definitely found this book a good one to talk to N about as we were reading and afterwards. We talked about how it’s not kind to be mean to other people, and how you need to tell someone if someone’s mean as well as telling them to stop. N was adamant that there’s no mean children at nursery, that they’re all nice, so if that’s true it’s great. Although I would hope that 3 and 4 year olds wouldn’t be intentionally mean.
While I don’t find the story that interesting because it feels more like a message than a story (even despite the happy ending), N really likes it. He’s asked for it 2 nights running, and that’s quite unusual. So it seems to work for him – the main characters are boys, which does help with N’s liking of a story. Although Noah does make friends with a girl at school so there’s a character for everyone.
I think the format and illustrations really help as it tends to have one page as the story, and the other facing page illustrated as though they were Noah’s journal and pictures.
So it’s another picture book from Parragon Books that we’ve enjoyed reading. You can find The Bully and the Shrimp on Amazon for around £5.99.
Disclosure: We received this book as part of the Parragon Books book buddy programme.for the purpose of review.