Just a quick note to say that this book, BLEAGH! is distributed by KiteReaders, who just happen to be sponsoring Week 5 of our Summer Reading Weekly Book Giveaways. If you haven’t done so already, please be sure to enter the giveaway for your chance to win 1 of 3 packages of 3 children’s books!
Author: Leana Lyn Doray
Illustrator: Little Pink Pebble
Publication Date: May 22, 2013
Number of pages: 18
Recommended age: 3 to 7
Reviewed by: Renee and Dominic (Mother and Son)
Purchase: Amazon (U.S. Kindle)
This book is about a monster named Bleagh who is the new student in school. The teacher asks the students to be kind to him because he’s new and doesn’t know anybody. Bleagh is different from the other kids. He is a big, furry, blue creature; he eats stinky lunches; and he is rude when he says he wants to be the leader without asking the other kids and when he says “Eagh” about a painting. The kids (and the title character) learn about compassion, integrity, creativity, and cooperation in their interactions with Bleagh.
1. What do you think of the cover and/or the pictures in the book? I loved the pictures and the cover of the book. I really liked the painting in the book because it looks like space with different coloured stars. I also liked the way Bleagh was drawn.
2. What do you think about Bleagh? I liked Bleagh and I felt bad for him when he was homesick.
3. What is your favorite part of the story? My favorite part of the story was when the kids were being really nice to Bleagh even though he was sometimes rude and mean.
4. What is your least favorite part of the story? My least favorite part of the story was when Bleagh said “Eagh” about the painting because it made three of the kids cry.
5. What lessons did this book teach you? I learned that even though someone is acting mean or rude that you shouldn’t be mean or rude back. Sometimes they act that way because they are sad or mad so they need care.
6. Overall, what did you think about this book? I really liked this book because it had a good story and good pictures.
7. Who do you think would like this book? I think ALL boys and some girls would like this book, even grown-ups.
Son Rating: ★★★★★
Son Rating: ★★★★★
My Thoughts: I don’t typically start reviews with this kind of statement, but in this case, it really does apply: I LOVE THIS BOOK! Allow me to elaborate. I have been teaching my kids for years that when a child (or teen or adult, etc.) they are interacting with does or says something mean to them (or anyone else) it is typically because they don’t feel good about themselves. Why do I teach them this? Because my life philosophy begins and ends with compassion. BLEAGH! A book about values centres around this (and other) themes.
We meet “Bleagh”, a big furry monster when he starts off in a new school with a new teacher and new classmates. I know … scary for anyone, right? Well, Bleagh decides that if he acts foul, he’ll get respect from the other kids. What is the response? They recognize that Bleagh is feeling unsure of himself in his new situation so they give him a hug:
Suddenly, B grimaced. He gave a big growl. ‘Maybe they’ll think I’m cool,’ he thought, ‘if I act really foul.’ The children were shocked and a wee bit scared But put themselves in B’s shoes and Thought he might need a hug instead.
Ok so, yes, I noticed that there is a bit of a problem with rhyming and cadence here (and in a couple of other spots, to be honest), but the message is dead on! Bleagh goes on to commit a few more “faux pas”, but the children, with guidance from their teacher patiently try to understand why Bleagh acts the way he does and suggest alternatives. So, so, so well done! The illustrations cover the full page every page and are bright and colourful. Bleagh is simply delightful as a friendly “creature” who definitely stands out, but who is completely accepted by everyone nonetheless.
On some of the pages, there is a crest or badge which has a lone word which corresponds with a theme being covered in the nearby pages (e.g., compassion, tolerance, creativity, cooperation, etc.) These are good teaching prompts and will help children expand their vocabulary. Great idea!
I could see that some of Bleagh’s behaviours could be interpreted as bullying with respect to the type of bullying we would typically see in early elementary or even preschool. The behaviour is not malicious, so much as “inappropriate”. From what I’ve seen in the earlier years, there is much to be learned with regards to socialization or learning how to interact with your peers. This book would be a great tool in a preschool or kindergarten class for example where kids are still learning how to interact socially.
My Bottom Line: BLEAGH! A book about values is, in short, a gem. It features an unusual and sympathetic main character in “Bleagh” (love that name!), the illustrations are excellent and kid-friendly, and the life lessons in this book just happen to overlap quite neatly with some of positive messages I try to reinforce in my children. I highly recommend BLEAGH! (I still giggle every time I say that out loud!) for parents of young children, librarians, and preschool, kindergarten, or early elementary school teachers as a great resource for teaching socialization skills. Ages 3+
* This book was provided to us by the author free-of-charge in exchange for our honest review.*
About the Author (From the Bleagh website)
Leana Lyn Doray is a trained educator with a double degree in Arts and Education from the University of Sydney. Serendipity led her to teach in the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme in Singapore for four years, where she discovered her love for reading to young children and providing a holistic education above and beyond basic academia. BLEAGH! A book about values is Leana’s first book, borne from almost a decade of educating (and being educated by) curious young minds. Leana is Singaporean and resides in Singapore with her husband. She enjoys travelling, cooking, trips to the library and the thrill of new experiences. For more on author Leana Lyn Doray and BLEAGH! A book about values, please visit http://thebleaghseries.weebly.com/index.html.
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