Anti-Bullying Week: Books That Stay With You

A good book gives you more than you realise at the time. A good book will keep on giving. Good books rock! What book do you keep coming back to?


What Books Beckon?

One book from my childhood that keeps drawing me back in is the wise, funny and beautiful Dr Seuss tale ‘Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?’.

It reminds me in its own zany way that it is important to notice the good things in our lives and build from there.

Noticing the good things in life that surround us is something that Mantra Lingua continues to aim at, whether it’s celebrating a new life, exploring the good that may come from diversity or welcoming in versions of familiar stories from different cultures.


Friendship versus Anti-Bullying?

While I’ve been teaching, I have noticed that during Anti-Bullying Week, there is often an increase in perceived levels of bullying. Perhaps you have, too. Acting against something bad is good, but is acting for something good perhaps better?

In one primary school in Liverpool with a Head ahead of his time, we celebrated ‘Friendship Week’ instead of ‘Anti-Bullying Week’, in which bullying was covered but it was the building of bonds that was the main focus. I can remember vividly the real-life friendship tree that was made. It grew in colour and stature as children recorded and added their leaves of friendship to its branches. The friendship tree metaphorically oxygenated the whole school community and continues to oxygenate me as I think about it.


Anti-Bullying Years?

In schools and communities around the country and the world, we know that Anti-Bullying Week has a focus next week, but also extends throughout the year. Mantra Lingua’s resources are beautifully illustrated and the images are diverse and inclusive. When your children enjoy the pictures in the books and on the posters, they are seeing reflections of themselves and others in our eclectic and awe-inspiring world. Learners recognise some people who look like themselves and others who are different. This helps them to feel part of our global community and prepares them to act effectively in the world outside their school and home.


Three Books To Address Potential Bullying…

Here are 3 suggestions of books and resources from Mantra Lingua’s extensive and growing resource base (easily browsable on the website) whose positive impact will stay with your children and you for a long time to come:


Welcome to the World Baby, by Na'ima B. Robert

All cultures celebrate the birth of a baby in different ways. When Tariq's baby brother is born, his classmates take it in turns to tell each other how their families welcome a new baby into the world.

'Welcome to the World Baby' is a beautiful and sensitive exploration of different cultural and religious traditions associated with the birth of a baby. This dual language book offers a platform for discussing religious rituals and celebrations, diversity and multiculturalism, as well as being a useful resource for learning about the five senses.

But don’t just take my word for it.

According to the Little Linguist website,

‘This book is a high-quality dual-language picture book.’

Also, a 5-star review on Amazon is accompanied by this comment,

‘This was a gift for the Baby shower of my Romanian friend. Her expression of surprise and happiness truly made this a worthwhile purchase.’

Indeed, ‘Baby’ truly gets around! On the Sears website, for example, there is this baby shower of praise:

‘Enhance communication with children in a variety of languages.

Support children's home language and connect with families.

Increase awareness of diverse cultures and world languages.

Mantra Lingua programs help make learning fun for children while assisting teachers and parents to communicate with each other in non-native languages.’


That’s My Mum, by Henriette Barkow and illustrated by Derek Brazell

Mia is a child of mixed heritage who doesn't look like her mum. When they go out together, other people are confused. Find out how Mia overcomes the prejudice of being judged by the colour of her skin.

‘This is an uplifting tale… the story would be brilliant in teaching children about accepting anybody regardless of their appearance, race, beliefs etc. and the illustrations really compliment the story’s message.’

Reviewed as five stars by Scott Hession on the goodreads website.


Yeh-Hsien: a Chinese Cinderella, by Dawn Casey and illustrated by Richard Holland

You've heard of Cinderella, but what about the story of Yeh-Hsien?

Believed to be the original Cinderella story, Yeh-Hsien is a girl raised by a wicked stepmother, living a life of the most difficult chores. The stepmother kills her favourite fish, but Yeh-Hsien is amazed to discover the fish bones are magical! Her greatest wish is to attend the village festival, but she loses her slipper there...

‘I found Yeh-Hsien to be a stronger character than the heroine in these other Cinderella tales. In the Chinese story, it is Yeh-Hsien herself who decides to go to the festival and makes it happen because she is “so determined.” I also enjoyed the beautiful descriptive language of the story - “looking as graceful as the willow that sways with the wind…”

Although this book is recommended for children ages 4-8, older children who appreciate fairy tales also would find this version of Cinderella appealing.’

Review by Maureen Barlow Pugh

From February 2008 issue of Culture Connection Newsletter


And There’s More…

Mantra Lingua has many more wonderfully-written and illustrated books on the website. Why not take a look?


The World Beyond:

Many other websites also provide good resources to deal with bullying.

Bullying UK has anti-bullying week resources which include downloadable posters, flash cards, debate activity, comic strips and problem pages to use in the classroom. There is much more besides if you click on the link below:


I am sure that during Anti-Bullying Week and beyond, we will all work together to forge new friendships and discover new books that will keep on giving into the future.

Good books, friendships and learning really do stay with you. Sharing good practice is one important way we learn and grow.

Is there a golden tip that you can share which addresses bullying effectively?