Remy: A book about believing in yourself by Mayuri Naidoo and Caroline Siegal
|Remy: A book about believing in yourself by Mayuri Naidoo and Caroline Siegal|
|Category: For Sharing|
|Reviewer: Jill Murphy|
|Summary: A lovely story about overcoming bullying in constructive ways - perfect for newly confident readers or for sharing with a parent or trusted adult.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 40||Date: April 2021|
|Publisher: Kaori Mai Publishing|
|External links: Author's website|
Remy is feeling miserable. He's let himself down again. The school bully Jayden, together with his sidekicks Ryan and Brandon, have been laughing at Remy, calling him names because he is short and has small eyes. They are mean but they are not stupid. They are careful to wind up Remy when nobody can see and then push him just that little bit further when the other kids are around. So, when Remy reacts, it looks as though he was the instigator. And then he gets into trouble at school and the teachers don't believe him when he tries to explain what happened.
Poor Remy: his self esteem is at an all-time low - he's angry with himself for failing to control his temper and his self image has taken a real battering with all the snide comments about his height and his eyes. His only consolation is Lavender Bunny, his favourite stuffed toy since he was a baby. He carries Bunny around everywhere with him as a comfort, but even that has to be secret from Jayden and the other bullies, who would mock him even more if they knew.
But then, one day, after a particularly bad day at school, Remy receives a visit from a talking owl. The owl reassures him that there is nothing wrong with the way he looks, or being a bit different, and that good days will come. This visit from the strange but friendly owl really makes Remy think. And it gives him the confidence not only to begin standing up to Jayden but also to confide in his mum. And his mum, a wise lady indeed, has an idea about how to continue the talking owl's good work...
... I won't tell you what it is. You'll need to read the book to find out. Suffice it to say that Remy finds a way to believe in himself and to challenge bullies in a constructive way!
This is a lovely little story about the rotten effects of bullying and how shame and secrecy makes it worse. Mayuri Naidoo has pitched it perfectly for newly confident readers to tackle alone and with some privacy, but it's also perfect for sharing so that parent and child can have a good conversation about this important topic. It is clear and plain about how distressing it is to be bullied but it's not too graphic and there is a calm, positive authorial tone that won't alarm any child. The illustrations by Caroline Siegal are bright and clear. I particularly liked the one which depicts Remy, Lavender Bunny and Talking Owl, sitting together on a bench - you can sense it signals the beginning of better days for Remy.
It's vital that we explain to our children what bullying is and how to tackle it in constructive ways, and to believe in themselves. Remy is great tool to do just that. Recommended.
For other stories about bullying, we can recommend Leave Me Alone by Kes Gray and Lee Wildish and One Night in Beartown by Nick Jones and Si Clark for sharing with young children and Tadcaster and the Bullies by Richard Rutherford for emerging readers.
You can read more about Mayuri Naidoo here.
You can read more book reviews or buy Remy: A book about believing in yourself by Mayuri Naidoo and Caroline Siegal at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
You can read more book reviews or buy Remy: A book about believing in yourself by Mayuri Naidoo and Caroline Siegal at Amazon.com.
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