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“With all my might, you’ll all take flight… If I could but wish for better things, you’d all disperse and grow your wings. ” Benjamin Brewster, Dandelion
This past weekend I received a very special email with a link to a very special book app. The email toted the message “An interactive e-book like you’ve never experienced.” You must know that I was so intrigued .
Rarely do I feel captivated and drawn into an imaginary app world, but this app had me with the first screen and the first note of the it’s beautiful soundtrack. From there, we entered into a world of hope and possibilities. Even more surprising is the topic matter of e-book app, which is bullying.
CLICK TO TWEET “Bullying is for people with no imagination.” -Benjamin Brewster, (from the book app Dandelion) #bullying
When author Galvin Scott Davis’ son came home from school sharing that he was being bullied, Galvin having few answers decided to offer his son a solution by way of using his imagination and creativity. Lucky for us, we too have been let in to the world of his imagination to discover solutions to this difficult problem by providing solutions for the main character of the story.
Dandelion is a story about a little boy named Benjamin Brewster who is bullied each day at “The School for the Misguided.” One day, when all seems lost, a patch of magical Dandelions appear which allow him to conjure a new world from his imagination.
Galvin Scott Davis along with the award-winning app developers at Protein have created something truly magical as they encourage kids to discuss bullying through their interaction with the Dandelion app.
The entire e-book is so interactive in a very clever way. Blowing Dandelions on the screen, just as if we were doing it for real in a field somewhere. Pulling levers to turn the page and helping dear Benjamin Brewster out by touching a variety of things on the screens. Have a look at the video to see how this book reacts and interacts. It’s just amazing !!!
I personally like the way the app is organized with some of the interactive features set as extras. Another nice component is the text is set in a variety of languages.
It is the author’s wish that Dandelion encourages parents and children to talk about bullying and to use imagination to solve this very difficult and precarious problem. This creative team has risen to the occasion and have done so brilliantly. From within the app you can purchase the book, a wrist band, and dandelion decal. Dandelion is iTunes BEST of pick for 2012. Once you’ve seen this ingenious app you’ll see why.
Dandelion can be found on iTunes HERE.
And the print version HERE.
Something to Do:
Bullying has been a very real problem all over the globe. Following are some perspectives and activities to help you and your family investigate and create solutions which work for you and yours.
The story behind Dandelion allows and engages the imagination to allow readers to “live” the story. Storytelling is an excellent teaching strategy because stories ignite kids’ interest, helping them to create vivid mental images and stories activate the thinking process. The storytelling process is also brought to light in Pacer.org’s tale of SpookyThe Pumpkin.
Spooky is a square pumpkin living in a round pumpkin world. Through Spooky, Pace.org has created a wonderful system of stories, role-playing, and video to help young minds understand the effects of bullying.
Empathy skills: Happy-Mad-Sad.
- Encourage children to label their own feelings and tell each other how they feel about bullying.
- Discuss how children who are bullied might feel.
- Explain that despite differences between people, everyone experiences certain basic feelings.
- Remind children how they felt in situations like those faced by others in distress.
- Model empathy by talking about how you identify another’s distress and think of ways to help.
Encourage your kids to be creative by creating ” bullying art.” Ask them to create masks depicting the different human emotions. This helps to get them thinking about bullying and the emotions that go along with it. Our friends over at No Time For Flash Cards has a great tutorial on making Emotions Masks from Paper Plates.
Create a Caring Chain
Crayola.com has a wonderful activity called The Caring Chain:
How do you stop bullying? These bright paper rings—looped into a chain—highlight kind and respectful ways to treat people. Even bullies want friends!
For extended details, directions, and supply list go HERE.
Sing a Little Louder: Be heard. Share. Talk About it. Be a Spokesperson
Hayley Reardon was a shy quite teenager who never aspired to be a musician. Then one day she picked up a guitar and started to play. And then she started to write. One of her first songs? A song called She’s Falling.
“Hayley Reardon, who is 5-foot-1 and has a warm round face and long brown hair, was moved to act after seeing the emotional wreckage bullying can cause up close. In the seventh grade, she watched a friend, a target of online attacks, struggle badly and leave school for a time. Reardon felt helpless. She wrote a song called “She’s Falling,” as a way to work through the experience. That’s when she hit upon a Minnesota-based nonprofit organization, PACER, and its National Bullying Prevention Center. Reardon says she’s received e-mails, messages, and tweets from youth around the world sharing tales of bullying — victims and aggressors both. One lonely Iowa girl wrote from a bathroom stall and became the inspiration for Reardon to finish the song “Tribe,” about belonging, which is on the new record.” -Boston Globe
To read more about this amazing 16-year old, go HERE.
What projects or activities have you found useful for talking to your kids about bullying?