Book Review by Laura on Goodreads.
‘A Halloween treat, much better than sweets.’
The story of ‘Ebenezer and the Bully’ is a magical rhyming tale of behaviour matters, and the importance of being kind. It’s a treat for families to share or for reading alone, aimed at children aged 8-12 years old. With characters loosely based around the Charles Dickens classic ‘A Christmas Carol’, you’ll meet the Ghost of Christmas Past – a golden red puppy named Miss Ruby Heart – along with the Grim Reaper who will surprise Jacob by revealing his future self.
Especially designed for families to share during the Halloween Season, or for young readers to try for themselves, this little story has all the markings of a delightful timeless classic.
Clever rhymes set on gorgeously illustrated pages will not only enchant with a magical tale, but also teach the little ones a little about the consequences of being selfish, unkind and a bully. And due to a wonderful adaptation to our modern day life, this little tale allows children to easily identify.
From the excitement about going out for trick or treat to the school bag and blazer thrown in the corner, every little thing is bound to strike a note.
But what I loved about it the most is the message it sends out. To bullies and bullied children alike. Not the message I, as a grown up, perceived. The message the little ones understand from it.
How do I know what that is?! Because I had this little book as Halloween read aloud at a little Halloween party yesterday night! After all the games were done and the prizes collected, we all sat down with the cookies and milkshakes and read a scary Halloween tale. Eight children aged 5 to 13 were part of my Halloween troop last night – a few witches and wizards, a cowboy and even Harry Potter. Not the one of J.K. Rowling, but my own. 😀
To make it short, everyone loved Young Ebenezer: Confronts the School Bully. And not even one of the little munchkins tried to wiggle out of the read. Fact that in itself speaks volumes, after a night full of play and fun! Everyone was eager to see what happens next. And because of the easy flow of the rhymes, we even had a little contest seeing who can recite the best.
Almost everyone was outraged at Jacob bullying the smaller kids and every single one of them cheered for Ebenezer when he decided to make a stand. All hands went up when asked if school bags are thrown in a corner and everyone agreed Jacob turned out to be pretty cool by the end.
There is one thing I asked them all. ‘Why do you think Jacob was so mean?!’
Here are the answers I got at the beginning of the tale:
‘Because he is mean!
Mean kids are just mean like that!
We have some in our school and nobody likes them!
I will never be friends with a bully!’
And here are the answers to my question but after the little tale:
‘He was just sad! He was sad and lonely and that’s why he was a bully!
Maybe if Jacob had had friends he wouldn’t have been so mean!
Maybe if the mean boy in our school, had friends he wouldn’t be so mean anymore?’
Understanding and caring, and a wish to help. As well as a desire to change ones ways! A beautiful uplifting message for children of all ages. This little enchanting read delivers it spot on! In the perfect manner to be both accepted and understood.
I had a few parents too settling close by and listening to our read and I’ve already been made to promise that Young Ebenezer: A New Christmas Carol will be the read-aloud book at our Christmas party.
The unanimous rating received from my troop was and I quote, ‘a cool 5 star rating!’
Some did rate it a 10 star too, but GR only accounts for 5 so we’ll have to leave it at that! 🙂
If you’re on the lookout for a beautiful picture book for your little ones, give Young Ebenezer a try.
Honest to goodness! It’s beauty, magic and meaning on a page!
Happy reading my friends
“Try your best to be good
fill your heart full of caring
and never forget
the great joy of sharing.”