Review by Kate Fox, Primary School Teacher
The Gubyllub
Hamilton-Gibbs, L. (2023). iCandy.
An easy-to-read rhyming story about Rose, who used to be a bully, and how she found her way back to being kind.

When Rose sees a bully in the school playground, she is reminded of her own experiences when she was teased for being small.   

She developed the bullybug (a bug that takes kindness away from children) and wasn't very nice to people, then her teacher tells her to go home and find out how to be kind to others. An internet search and a trip to find a bullybug and turn it into a Gubyllub (bullybug spelt backwards) helps Rose remember what it is to be kind.  

Hamilton-Gibbs uses the idea that a bug is responsible for bullying, as it is important to label the behaviour and not the person when it comes to bullying. She shows that we have two sides to ourselves and how being kind is so much nicer: ‘Gubyllubs have much more fun, they dodge the clouds and chase the sun’.

Using what she has learnt, Rose is now standing up to bullies and is trying to empower others to be upstanders too. It’s much better to be a buddy, not a bully.  

With gorgeous pictures done in an Eric Carle/Lauren Child style, this pukapuka is suited for younger primary school students ages 5-9. Hamilton-Gibbs has also created packs of affirmation cards and random acts of kindness cards, to complement the Gubyllub and its messages. The website also hosts resources for teachers to help continue the bullying conversation in their classroom.

Disclaimer: Please note these reviews are not intended as endorsements or recommendations from the Mental Health Foundation. This feature introduces resources that may be useful for individuals with an interest in bullying prevention, mental health and wellbeing topics.

More Reviews
Kōrero Mai, Kōrero Atu, Mauri Tū, Mauri Ora
Speak Up, Stand Together, Stop Bullying!
Everyday Upstander About Contact Help Shop Our Programmes Downloadable Resources Real Stories Book Reviews