Sunday 11 July 2021

A Boy, his Bear, and a Bully

Katie Flanagan has her debut picture book A Boy, his Bear, and a Bully due for release next month (August 2021). It is beautifully illustrated by PJ Reece and published by EK Books.

For some kids, school is a place full of friends and fun. For others, though, it is a lonely place where bullies pick on them and it feels impossible to be brave. Meet Scott, Buttons and Duncan, otherwise known as A Boy, His Bear, and a Bully.

Scott takes Buttons to school with him every day to help him feel brave. He must, because every day, Duncan is mean to him. Just this week, Duncan has called him names, ripped his painting, and stolen his snack from his lunchbox. Then Buttons goes missing. With his one comfort gone, Scott must look elsewhere to find his brave, and much to his surprise, he does.

A Boy, His Bear and a Bully addresses the global issue of bullying in a hopeful, gentle way that will resonate with children who have been on either side of a bullying incident. Seeing Scott learn to stand up for himself will help children who feel afraid of bullies face them in a constructive way. Scott’s bravery also inspires his friend Rosie to report Duncan’s bad behaviour to a teacher, giving children a positive model of assertive behaviour.

Scott's situation is extremely common across the world. His story provides children with clear guidance on what to do if they are also being bullied, and on the role that friends should play in such a scenario. It is a sensitive, inspiring conversation starter for children, carers, professionals, and anyone who wishes they could be brave.

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