N.S. girl pens picture books to help other kids with conflict resolution
Published Tuesday, November 20, 2018 9:09PM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, November 21, 2018 10:51PM EST
A Grade 8 student from Halifax, N.S., has written a trio of picture books to help other kids peacefully resolve conflicts.
“They really came from what I felt like I would have needed as a child,” Amelia Penney-Crocker told CTV News Channel. “So I really wrote these books for a younger me.”
The books, which were written by Penney-Crocker and illustrated by her friends, are entitled “The Fairy Ring,” “The Enchantress from Canada” and “Animal School.”
“I really, really loved fairies when I was younger, and one of the books is about fairies and these fairies solving conflict,” Penney-Crocker explained. “When I was in elementary school, there were… lots of arguments with other kids, and I think that book, if I had read about fairies solving conflicts, it would have been very helpful for me to know what to do when I’m having conflicts with other children.”
Penney-Crocker’s books were written with support from Peaceful Schools International (http://peacefulschoolsinternational.org/), a Halifax-based charitable organization that promotes peace education.
Bridget Brownlow, the organization’s president, also teaches and works as a conflict resolution adviser at Saint Mary's University in Halifax.
“We decided very early on that it was very important to extend our conflict resolution program… to the local community and to involve our university students,” Brownlow told CTV News Channel. “That eventually transferred into our university students working with younger students within the local community. So, Saint Mary’s students facilitate conflict resolution and peace education workshops with local children in Halifax, over a thousand local children every year.”
From that collaboration came these books.
“In the fairy book, they used a circle so they can all see each other and be on the same level as one another to have a discussion on the same level,” Penney-Crocker said of the conflict resolution tools her characters use. “And they use the sandwich, where you say one good thing, then one bad thing, then one good thing, which combines everything together to make the person that you’re saying something to feel not so bad about themselves, but the bad thing in the middle.”
The books are meant to appeal to kids of all ages, Penney-Crocker added,
“In the older kids’ book about enchantresses,” she said, “there’s strategies for how to speak to a bully if they’re really just not listening to you, and how to make them stop bullying you, and lots of strategies like that incorporated with these fairies and enchantresses and talking animals that children would enjoy reading about.”