Review by Rachel Walker, Primary School Teacher
Little big bully
Moroney, T. (2021). Wellington: EQ Publications Ltd
This book sensitively describes how and why bullying happens, and offers a range of well-researched techniques to help children develop coping skills along with proactive strategies.

‘Being bullied is a horrible experience and can make you feel bad about being you!’ 

In 2023 I was teaching a class of new entrant students just beginning their school journey. This book was extremely relevant as they came together from different backgrounds. Some knew each other from early childhood, and others had family connections, but all of them had ideas on what they thought their friends should look like or behave like. While reading the story to my students, I would stop and ask them to put themselves in the shoes of those being bullied, the bully or the bystander. 

This led to great discussions about the type of person they wanted to be, and they were more patient with each other and willing to stop and ask questions before reacting. We did the activity that was shared at the back of the book about the ‘word eating monster’ and shared words that we don’t like for the monster to digest. We also created a display of words that we love and hope to hear more often. 

The images and use of language were standouts and made what could have been a broad concept for some little people that bit easier to understand. The positive reminders especially at the end of the story “and remember…that you are PERFECTLY YOU just the way you are!” is so important as we look to improve the mental health in our community.

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.

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