4 out of 4 stars
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Kitty Meets Boohoo is a children’s story written by Matoula Hartlove and illustrated by Patrick Carlson. Kitty is a pretty and popular girl at her school. Everyone likes Kitty, but when a new girl named Boohoo arrives, the other students aren’t nice to her at all.
One day, Boohoo gets tired of being picked on and when Kitty starts teasing her, Boohoo hits Kitty in the nose. This causes a bump to form on Kitty’s nose, and the other students now pick on Kitty. Initially, Boohoo is happy to see Kitty getting teased but then decides that the right thing to do is to extend a helping hand instead.
There was nothing that I disliked about the book. It has colorful illustrations and bold, easy-to-read text. The story is told in a simple rhyming style. I believe that the book was professionally edited as there are no errors in the text.
The story is appropriate for all ages. It imparts the lessons that bullying is unkind and that if one reaches out to someone who was formerly an enemy rather than gloating over their misfortune, they could end up making a new friend.
I hope that adults will use the story as an opportunity to teach kids that ridiculing others for being shy and nervous or making fun of someone’s physical appearance is wrong. Bullying has lasting consequences, and the idea that victims of bullying need to “just toughen up” is erroneous.
People who were bullied as children tend to have low self-esteem and are more likely to become chronically depressed and even suicidal. They are more likely to engage in self-harm and in risky behaviors such as drug and alcohol use. Their self-doubt can impair their ability to pursue activities and careers that interest them. People who were bullied in childhood tend to struggle with complex post-traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD).
Although the issues in the preceding paragraph are a little heavy to introduce to young children, stories like this one enable adults to impart to even the youngest children why bullying is wrong.
Because of its impeccable editing and formatting and because of its potential as a tool to combat bullying, I give Kitty Meets Boohoo four out of four stars.
Kitty Meets Boohoo
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