This is such a bright and fun book for children of all ages. I was immediately drawn to the bright colours and the indigenous artwork – I just had to find out more about Mad Magpie by Gregg Dreise!
Mad Magpie is a book that states it is for anyone who has ever been picked on, which I am sure many children have.
The story follows magpie who has been teased by the Butcher Birds. He doesn’t know how to manage his anger or ignore the Butcher birds so turns to swooping.
The elders are there to help Guluu (magpie) and eventually he learns to ignore the bullies, be calm and be at peace. The other birds soon learnt too that it wasn’t any fun teasing and soon enough the bird world was at peace.
So what can you talk about as you read or after you read this book?
Bullying is the key issue here so talking about so here are some ideas you can talk about:
How we feel when others bully us
how we feel when we tease others
why do we tease others?
why do others tease us?
Can you think of a time when you have been teased?
How did it make you feel & why did they tease you?
If talking about this is hard – and it can be. Ask children to draw a magpie. Write in the left wing: How I feel when I am teased. Right wing: What do I do when I am teased. Body: How can I be strong like Guluu? Tail: How can I be calm like Guluu? If children need to talk about a time when they were teased let them – it is good to discuss these events and reflect on what they can do if it happens again.
There may also be a need to talk about peer pressure. Here we could use the birds again but have a group of butcher birds drawn up. In there heads write how we feel when we tease others. Wings – actions we take when we tease others. Body: How we feel after we tease others. Tail – what can we do if we feel this pressure again?
Kidsmatter is a great site full of resources that help to build social and emotional intelligence in children.