storad“Monster in the Rocks”
Conrad J. Storad and Nathaniel P. Jensen

and

Fang and Stinger
Conrad J. Storad and Nathaniel P. Jensen

The first of these two books might be classified as being more about “stranger danger” than bullying per se, as a group of young quail learns that someone who looks like a monster may not actually BE one at all, and vice-versa; they also learn the supreme importance of always being aware of their surroundings. This is an important concept we teach to bullied kids, and their parents and teachers. If you know a place is potentially dangerous, you avoid it; wherever you are, you stay aware of what is around you, and know how to find the nearest help.

The second is, for our purposes, perhaps more interesting, and certainly no less useful for parents and educators of young children. In this story, a young tarantula and scorpion are best friends, and each is afraid of the characteristic that makes her most dangerous for prey. These two are bullied by a mature wasp, who considers them no threat. The story has the happy ending we’ve come to expect: the tarantula and scorpion mature and come to terms with their natural weapons, and upon standing up for themselves the wasp retreats.

Like most bullying tales, the antagonist is labeled “bully,” which we don’t recommend ourselves, and which we certainly will not do. But the story brings up points that are important for young children:

  • that they will grow and mature
  • that they have natural gifts meant to enhance their lives
  • that bullying does not have to be the whole story of their lives.

We like that. 🙂

top-storadConrad Storad is a storyteller, a spinner of yarns, each of which is set in the Arizona countryside that is his home, and each of which involves the flora and fauna of the American Southwest. This gives Storad a chance to be more than a storyteller, but an educator also, teaching kids in simple language the basic facts about desert owls, gila monsters and Saguaro cacti. Each of his books gives lessons in various topics in Earth and space science.

Each of his books also gives an important lesson (or at least one) in life skills. How often can you find such books, and have them be a type children WANT to read? When you find books like that, you find a gold mine (and I think they may have had THOSE in Arizona as well). Storad’s works are a gold mine, and highly suitable for children, especially early readers – first graders may need a little help; appropriate also for second and third graders.

You can find these and other Storad works on Amazon, and links are provided. His latest is Gator, Gator, Second Grader. 🙂