Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Noni Speaks Up - a bookwrap


Authored by Heather Hartt-Sussman 

Illustrated by Geneviève Côté

Unwrapping some fabulous illustrations...

About the book...

Noni, a senstive, kind little girl always tries to do the right thing.  She gives up her seat on the bus to an elderly lady, she opens a door for a pregnant lady and she gives back loose change to a man who drops it in the bakery. Then one day she freezes... unable to move to help do the right thing. Why?

Hector, a lanky, bespectacled classmate, is the brunt of bullying and Noni finds she is scared and afraid to intervene on his behalf in case the bullies turn on her.  Her heart is troubled as she find even she is mocked and taunted about the blouse she is wearing, her choice of food for lunch and her ballerina skills.  The kids are mean and laugh at others making them feel humiliated and frightened of the negative peer pressure they are applying.  

None goes home and can't sleep she is so upset.  She knows these kids are wrong and she doesn't seem to have the courage to stand up and say something to them. 

 One day in the park she sees Hector being pushed off a swing by a big bully and his glasses fly off his face and bounce across the grass.  That's the last straw... that's it... she can't take it any longer.  She must do something now!  She gets off the park bench she is sitting on and stands up... not only physically but mentally to the intimidating bully and comes to Hector 's aid.  She knows it's the right thing to do and she feels a great sense of relief and pride by choosing to intervene on Hector's behalf.  He is so very appreciative of her act of bravery to protect him and together they exit the park leaving the bullies stunned and on mute. 

The illustrations are crayon-and-watercolour and are a pure delight.  Côté has caught the emotions and actions just perfectly.  I must confess I love that style of illustrations the best so I'm kind of bias.

This book is a perfect read aloud experience and will open up dialogue about bullying, peer pressure, courage, friendships, empathy, confidence and respect for other and self-respect.  I highly recommend this book to add to your collection.

About the author...

Heather Hartt-Sussman, born in Montreal, graduated from Brandeis University and attended the Sorbonne. She has been a copywriter for BCP in Montreal, a re- porter for the Hollywood Reporter, editor-in-chief for international news for TV Guide in French Canada, where she was columnist of the popular “Heather Hartt in Hollywood” and host of E! Entertainment Television’s The Gossip Show. She is author of the acclaimed picture books Nana’s Getting Married, Here Comes Hortense! and Nana’s Summer Surprise. Her first two books about Noni, Noni Says No and Noni Is Nervous, were both finalists for Ontario’s Blue Spruce Award. Heather Hartt-Sussman lives in Toronto.

About the illustrator...

Geneviève Côté has illustrated numerous books for children, including the first two Noni stories, and is
the author-illustrator of Bob’s Hungry Ghost as well as a number of other picture books. She has received many awards and honors for her work, including Canada’s most prestigious literary prize, the Governor General’s Award for Children’s Illustration. Her art has also been featured in such publications as the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. Geneviève Côté lives in Montreal.

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