“We’re All Different but we’re All Kitty Cats” by Peter Goodman addresses the importance issue of bullying for young children (Ages 3-8). Bullying affects approximately 160,000 children and leads to high absenteeism (National Education Association). 1 in 7 children in Grades K thru 12 are a bully or are a victim of bullying. When bystanders stand up to bullies it can make a difference. According to Pacer’s National Bullying Prevention Center, “More than half of bullying situations stop when a peer intervenes on behalf of the students being bullied.” Like most negative behaviors, bullying can be changed. It is not simply a phase that children will eventually outgrow. It is an act that can have a long lasting effect on the victim and the bully. It is a great idea to teach our children the value of treating others with respect and empathy in order to discourage attitudes and decisions that may lead to bullying.
I had the opportunity to speak with Peter and he explained how animals can help children learn about bullying. All children love animals and they provide a safe and engaging pathway to have a conversation concerning a difficult behavior. His cast of characters is a group of unique and interesting cats. The main character Carlos is a hairless kitty and the story follows his first day of school. He is made to feel different because of his special features. The author believes that each of the cats is an extension of his own personality. Peters says, “I would hang out with each of them.” We watch the diverse and fun kitty cats learn about acceptance, empathy, and courage especially when Flo and Marla stand up for Carlos. This book provides a fun first step in developing positive emotional social skills.
Educators, Caregivers, Parents, and Children Advocates can get the comprehensive curriculum for Grade K-3 sponsored by Pacer’s National Bullying Prevention Center at DreamBigPress.com. Here is a video link for additional information about the book and the bullying prevention package.
Children will learn how to build a more positive community where all can feel safe and respected regardless of differences. No matter what, “We’re All Kitty Cats.”