A Children's Rhyming Book About Respect for Others
By encouraging discussion of important topics at a young age, we can help prevent the onset of bullying and promote respect for all.
My Friend Clyde is the first in a series of rhyming children’s picture books intended to educate young children (ages 5-10) about the importance of treating others, regardless of their differences, with respect.
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Jacquelyn will come to your school, camp or event and present her book to help promote anti-bullying and respect.
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The My Friend Clyde Story
My Friend Clyde is an 8×8 illustrated rhyming book that follows a young boy named Clyde who struggles in school because of a learning disability. The other children in school are mean to Clyde but they learn that he is worth getting to know.
To keep the conversation going we have even included discussion questions at the end of the book, As well, there is a link to our website for additional resources including a section for children of all ages to share their personal stories of success and challenges relating to bullying.
Jason is a graduate of York University with a specialized honours degree in Political Science. He currently owns and operates Kendal Aquatics Swim School. Prior to writing this book, Jason had never written a book before. Clyde, the main character, is based on Jason’s youngest sister who for years, all throughout elementary and secondary school was bullied.
Jason Says, “We must all do more to promote tolerance and respect among our peers in order to combat bullying both inside and outside of our school system”. Continues Jason, “Educating children as they start looking outwards and seeing that not everyone is the same is an important first step in achieving this critical goal”.
Mariam is both a graduate of Ryerson University’s Fashion Communication and Design (FCAD) program as well as a graduate of Niagara University’s Teacher’s College. As a school teacher, Mariam sees firsthand the positive impact that educating young children about being respectful towards others has on her students, in the classroom and beyond. Like Jason, this is Mariam’s first book and she is very excited to be a part of such an important and meaningful endeavour.
Says Mariam, “I hope that this book truly makes a difference in reducing bullying incidents in our school and that it also inspires children to make friends with those who are different from themselves”
Jacquelyn is a kind, sweet, well-mannered person with many positive attributes. Jacquelyn also has a learning disability. Having a learning disability made Jacquelyn different than her peers because she learned differently. This made her a prime target for bullies in school and they constantly tormented her.
Jacquelyn would come home crying because of how cruel the other kids were to her and couldn’t comprehend why they would tease, make fun of and exclude her for simply learning differently. Didn’t they recognize all her amazing qualities? Didn’t they have any compassion for the difficult time she had trying to learn in school what came so easily to others?
For years Jacquelyn was teased, bullied and excluded. Her teachers and principal did little to intervene even though they clearly saw what was going on and recognized the negative impact on Jacquelyn. Unfortunately the bullying continued at home through cyberbullying. It got so bad, Jacquelyn’s parents monitored all her activities on her cellphone and the internet.
Being bullied impacted every facet of her life and could have destroyed her. Fortunately, Jacquelyn was one of the lucky ones. Today Jacquelyn is 23 years old and is beginning to develop confidence and self-esteem. She is a strong, resilient, compassionate and independent woman.
Jacquelyn is extremely passionate about this cause and is committed to sharing her personal story, do book readings and help put an end to bullying.
Jacquelyn, our spokesperson, is an incredible person and we hope you get the chance to meet her and have a book reading. She also hopes you will write to her on our website about your bullying experience (good and bad).
What Readers Say
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THE STORY BEHIND THE BOOK
Jason was inspired to write this book after his sister Jacquelyn was bullied relentlessly throughout primary and secondary school. Because of a learning disability Jacquelyn learns differently than others. In school, being different made her a prime target for bullies. For years Jacquelyn was teased, bullied and excluded. Seeing Jacquelyn in tears every day was heartbreaking.
WHY A CHILDREN’S RHYMING BOOK?
Out of frustration, Jason decided to write this children’s rhyming picture book and enlisted the help of his girlfriend at the time (and now wife), Mariam, to do the illustrations.
To affect change, My Friend Clyde was written in a rhyming picture book format so it ban be a valuable tool for educators, parents and grandparents begin an important dialogue in an age-appropriate manner. The book’s universal message of acceptable and respect, regardless of our differences, is unique because it introduces the conversation of teasing and bullying to very young children. It has already garnered very positive feedback from educators, parents and youngsters. By encouraging discussion at a young age we can help break the cycle of intolerance that has become so commonplace.
After working on the book for some time, Jason and Mariam got full time jobs and the book remained an incomplete project. Several years later, Jason recognized that Jacquelyn would be the ideal spokesperson for the book as she was the inspiration for My Friend Clyde. With bullying and cyberbullying on the rise, this is an important topic that must be addressed.