Hoy No Juegas/Today you don’t play

Pilar Serrano/Canizales
Editorial Nube Ocho
+5 yrs

We are delighted with this book. Its theme is bullying and it is clearly defines bullying and how to address it. A good resource for parents and teachers, the book promotes conversations that give children the tools to address and stop bullying before it spreads to other children. Giving visibility to these issues and offering solutions can change situations, which is what the story in “Today You Don’t Play” demonstrates.

Emma is the new girl at school. Since her arrival, neither recess nor the classroom is the same. She is unfair and abusive with her peers, she takes their lunch away, and she decides who gets to play and what to play… The environment is no longer harmonious and everyone has stopped playing together. The manipulation, teasing and lies affects Ana, and one morning she gives up her sandwich so that she is “allowed” to play with her friends. Emma seems to have dominated the children.

Ana becomes more and more isolated and feels sad. Her fear of Emma seems to be stronger than her will to confront Emma. Sad and lonely, she does not tell her parents or teachers, like so many children who are bullied.
Fortunately, things change when a friend of Ana decides it’s time for a change…

We are not going to tell you the end because this is such a wonderful tale. What we will tell you is that Emma sure learned a lesson! This book gives us the opportunity to talk about empathy, respect, diversity and the need to imagine yourself in someone else’s shoes.