Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Sometimes It's Good to Not Follow the Rules...As Seen in the Recent Children's Book, "Sweet Penny and the Lion" (Review)

Disclosure: I was sent a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All views shared are mine and mine alone.

A wickedly funny picture book about the danger of always following the rules.

I have two daughters...one is quiet and reserved, while the other is loud and outspoken. While it is nice to be quiet and follow the rules, I have found that you need to be a little more assertive, especially in today's day and age, where you have to be a go getter and step and claim things if you want them for yourself.  

There have been a few instances where my girls were with a group of kids doing a project and my quiet daughter ended up being pushed to the side and forgot about as she was quiet and not speaking up.  She felt sad and was upset when it came to getting supplies for the project.  In the end, she ended up with the leftovers, and not the fancy or pretty supplies.  She asked me after the class why the kids had to be mean.  I told her that they were intentionally being mean, but were just being more assertive and going after what they wanted.  I said that even though she doesn't like to be pushy or talk up, that she needs to be stronger and more out-spoken at times, especially in a group.  I said while it may not feel right to her to test limits, be bold or speak up, that she needs to if she wants to be included and not be pushed aside and not included.  At first she didn't believe me, but then her little sister joined the conversation and reiterated what I was saying, and told her that while it's hard to be brave, she would be standing next to her, and would back her up.  My oldest daughter felt a little better, and liked that her little sister would help gain some confidence to be more bold and assertive.

To help reassure my daughter, who still didn't feel right to go against rules or test limits to get what she wanted, I shared a fun new book, "Sweet Penny and the Lion," by Richard Fairgray and Alexander Burke, with her and her sister.  When we got to the last few pages, I read this to them, and then stopped to talk about it, and how it applied to what I had be trying to get my daughter to do...

"So let this a lesson, children, being good and nice is fine, but don't be afraid to break rules or test limits from time to time.  Be bold, be loud, shout out, speak up, sometimes it's hard to be brave, but if not, you might get eaten by a lion..."  I told my daughter that the lion in this case was the kids and environments she was in where she feels she needs to step back and no speak up.  If she doesn't be a little louder, then their chattering will drain her own, and she will be pushed aside and not included.  After reading this book, she understood better what I was trying to say, and said she would try to be more brave and speak up.  She wasn't for breaking the rules or testing limits, but said maybe in time she would be confident and want to try this.

She has been in a few situations where she had the opportunity to try being more outspoken, and while it was hard at first, she eventually found her "voice" and has spoken up.  She found that by being loud that people stop and listen to what good ideas she has or what she has to say, and include her in the project or task at hand.  Her confidence has grown and she is finally getting better as going for things she wants and speaking up to get what she wants.  And, with the support of her sister by her side, and me cheering her on on the sidelines, she is becoming braver just like the girl, Penny, in this story.

If you have a child who needs a little encouragement when it comes to courage, being brave and bold and speaking up, then you will definitely want to share "Sweet Penny and the Lion" book with them. Adults, who find themselves quiet and reserved and upset when they are in social situations or the workplace and get pushed aside or ignored, this book acts as a friendly reminder that we all have to be more assertive and outspoken if we want people to take us seriously and be included.

About this book:

"Sweet Penny is so good, she would never do anything to disappoint her parents or disrupt class or upset her friends. In fact, she’s so sweet that even when bullies steal her lunch, she just quietly smiles and lets them.

And then, one day on the playground Penny’s class is playing a game when a lion hops over the fence. Penny’s classmates scream and scatter, but Penny was told to stay right where she is. And so she does.

And the lion eats her.

But something changes when she’s in his very dark belly. She punches and kicks her way out, and when she emerges, not-so-sweetPenny will never be taken advantage of again."

On Sale: March 6, 2018 | ISBN: 978-1-5107-3484-5
Price: $16.99 | 32 pages | Ages 3–6


About the Authors:

Richard Fairgray is a writer, artist and colorist, best known for his work in comic books such as Blastosaurus and Ghost Ghost, and picture books such as Gorillas in Our MidstMy Grandpa Is a Dinosaur, and If I Had an Elephant. As a child he firmly believed he would grow up and eat all the candy he wanted and stay up as late as he liked. By drawing pictures when he wasn’t meant to and reading all the things people told him not to, he has made this come true.

Alexander Burke is an award-winning composer and musician residing in Los Angeles. Alex has composed music for films and soundtracks such as Iron Man 3The GiftA Little Something For Your Birthday, as well as TV shows like Mortified NationFunny Or Die, and too many others to list here. He is a guest artist for numerous albums and live specials for artists including Michael BublĂ©, David Lynch, Fiona Apple, Edward James Olmos, Dave Grohl, and Margaret Cho. Alex’s band, Magnolia Memoir, have currently released four albums. Please update this bio yourself with a black ballpoint pen as this number grows.

Disclosure: I was sent a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All views shared are mine and mine alone.

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