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“This is a great book! It has cover to cover art that is sure to please our children’s eyes, and the story is simple and relatable because it’s in a familiar setting. It contains the most important element in children’s books – a source of good lessons. It teaches bravery, forgiveness, and friendship. On top of that, this book contains elements of an unforgettable children’s book. It has unique and memorable characters, a turning point, believable conversation, an engaging plot, and a happy ending.

I’m giving it 5 out of 5 stars. It tackles the topic of bullying through a fictional story, and serves as a positive guide for victims and bullies. It is the perfect classroom resource. I highly recommend it to children 4 – 8 years old.”

– Shey Saints

“Here’s one I’ll be using in sessions relating to social skills, feelings and perspective taking!
Speech pathologists often help children break down, brainstorm, model and practise scenarios during social skill therapy so they can feel confident when faced with these challenges.
I say ‘when’ because unfortunately, the reality is that most kids will encounter some form of bullying growing up and it is a relatable topic for all.
Teachers and speech pathologists will agree that educating kids in the early years on this topic is so important – and this book does exactly that in a gentle, hopeful and constructive way.
It addresses the fear that children can experience and also breaks down what they can do in difficult situations like this, from multiple perspectives.
It is not just about the child who is being bullied, but about the role peers can play.

Great conversation starter book suitable for children 4+ available from September, 21.”

– Mariah, Speech Pathologist

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.

Buzz Words Books

The main character Scott, in his insecurity, takes Buttons to school every day to help him feel brave. But in spite of this Duncan the bully is still mean to him. He calls him “Scott no friends” tears up his painting, calls him names and steals his play lunch. But when Buttons goes missing he is devastated. Where does he look now to find his courage? But with inner strength, he surprises himself. On dress-up day he wears his dinosaur suit and somehow finds his ‘brave’ and no-one is more surprised than Duncan the bully.

Bullying is very real for many children which they often endure alone. But this sensitive book will allow parents and teachers to shine a light on challenges of this type. Scott’s bravery inspires others to dig deep to find their inner strength.

Katie Flannigan is a full-time children’s author. She worked once in the health industry as an Occupational Therapist. She was awarded a Maurice Saxby Mentorship award in 2016. Katie lives in Melbourne with her husband, three children and many dogs.

PJ Reece is an Australian illustrator. His delightful pen/pencil and wash illustrations help to bring this lovely story to life.

Trevor Cairney

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