Bullying and bullies are an ugly reality of a child’s world. It does seem strange that children can be tormentors of other children but it is true. Schools, playgrounds and daycare centers all have a bully or two who may be making your child’s life miserable. Books that talk about bullies and coping with bullying are a great way to help your child open up and talk about it easily.
When I received the opportunity to review Flightless Goose by Eric D. Goodman, I naturally accepted. The theme of the book is simple but the message is deep and practical. Beautifully illustrated by Nataliya D. Goodman, the Flightless Goose is the touching and sweet story of a delightful, happy goose named Gilbert.
When Friends Turn Bullies
The book touches upon an important aspect of childhood – tests of friendship. Gilbert is a fun-loving, playful goose who would spend time hanging out with his friends. An unfortunate accident takes away his ability to fly and while his so-called friends do seem to sympathize with him, they soon start making fun of him and playing tricks on him.
Very often, a change in a child’s ability to play or be like other kids due to illness or injury, can result in bullying by people he considered his friends. This type of bullying, I feel, is more hurtful for a child since the bullies are kids he loved and played with.
Coping with Bullies
Flightless Goose also talks about how to cope with bullies and not let them get your spirits down. When Gilbert’s friends called him names and made fun of him, he sought encouragement in the company of a little boy called, Johnny. When his flock and friends flew to warmer climes, Gilbert was left behind. But he refused to buckle down and instead, spent time strengthening his legs.
The book sends out an important message about seeking support if you’re being bullied and about not letting a bully break your spirit.
About the Book
The book is written in simple, easy-to-understand language. I read it with my preschooler and she loved it. However, the length of the book is more appropriate for older children, for whom the book is originally intended. The illustrations are lovely. Nataliya D. Goodman has brought out the character of Gilbert the Goose with clarity and sensitivity. I liked the message the book sent out about loving everyone, regardless of how different they may seem or be. I’m glad I could read it with my toddler since I want her to grow up to be both compassionate and strong.
If you’re a concerned parent wanting to help your child cope with bullies or stop bullying, you’d want to have Flightless Goose in your family library. Without being preachy or boring, the book sends out an important message in a fun and child-friendly way.