For Anti Bullying Week we are re-sharing the review of one of our favourite books!
In therapeutic parenting sessions, many adoptive parents and carers over the years have told me about how difficult it is for their child to make or keep friends. They speak of their sadness for their child never being invited for play dates or to birthday parties.
I often work with schools as part of the therapy plan, to help them think about how to support friendships for their looked after and adopted children. This regularly involves a lot of structuring of playtimes and lunchtimes and building up the circle of friends for the child slowly. Play skills can easily be taken for granted but are often so hard to grasp for children who have been traumatised. Putting in the work to help these children develop even one caring friendship can be life changing for them.
Something Else is one of my favourite books and one that I often recommend to families and schools. It speaks to the importance of creating belonging and having friends. It is a useful resource for starting conversations about respecting diversity and being kind.
Something Else is a truly beautiful, quirky picture book. It was awarded the first international UNESCO prize for Children’s and Young People’s Literature in the Service of Tolerance and it is easy to see why.
The story is simply and humorously written, yet so poignantly captures the innate longing that all children have for connection, understanding and acceptance. It also cleverly captures how a child can be both a victim and perpetrator of bullying but can learn from experience and resolve their mistakes. It is a hopeful and heart-warming tale of how being different does not make you bad and does not have to be a barrier to friendship. Everyone is unique and special in their own way.