Nadiya Hussain doesn’t shy away from exploring big topics in her picture books. Her first picture book, My Monster and Me, explored anxiety and her latest publication Today I’m Strong, is all about coping with bullying. This time the book has a lead brown skinned, glasses wearing female character.
Nadiya herself experienced bullying as a child and I wonder how emotional this read may have been to complete. I certainly felt it was an emotive read.
As readers we see a child who is happy at schools, most days, but she really opens up to her readers and admits that some days can make her feel really sad.
Her feeling sad is because of a young girl Molly. A girl who we see to be unkind and intimidating. We also see as readers that it happens on more than one ocassion.
What do we do in such situations? Sometimes it can all be a blur when it first happens and then afterwards we might feel like we should have said or done things differently. Sometimes we might just find that our voice disappears. This is what the young girl experiences. Will this ever change? Will Molly stop being so mean?
The tiger in the story is a silent friend, a great listener and the girls biggest supporter. The tiger really helps the young girl in finding something that was there all along, her inner strength.
The theme of the story can be applied in so many different situations and it’s a book that may just get young readers talking about their worries or sadness.
The book is a great one for all libraries which Ella Bailey has illustrated brilliantly. Double page spreads sharing the happy and sad times with use of expressive illustrations against plain white backgrounds.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the publisher’s for the purpose of review. All words and opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.