When trying to fit in leaves you in a spin…
Emma tries her hardest
Emma practices every afternoon and every weekend to try and be good enough for Carly’s cartwheel club – she quite literally bends over backwards to try and fit in.
But quickly she realises that fitting in with Carly isn’t all she thought it would it be and perhaps there’s a better way to play.
‘Frenemies’ and Bullying
Bullying is a significant problem in schools but books generally depict the more overt physical or verbal bullying.
Turning Cartwheels looks at the subtler, more manipulative style of psychological bullying that is sadly all too common, particularly among primary school-aged girls.
This book deals with themes of Social Bullying, Friendship, Peer Pressure, Fitting in and Navigating School. It is perfect for Ages 4-8 and a valuable learning resource for classrooms. Teacher’s Notes are available here
Amy Adeney has worked as a fitness instructor and in entertainment PR as well as primary school teaching. Her special interest in Literacy education in the early years led to her developing Busy Bookworms, with a mission to inspire in children a love of books and reading. Her two crazy children as well as her crazy life experiences provide endless inspiration for her stories, which she hopes will in turn inspire many young readers and future writers.
Amy Calautti loved to draw from a young age and often made up games based around drawing to entertain her younger brother and cousins. Amy now lives with her small tribe of humans who inspire her every day.
It will be a great resource for both schools and homes, especially useful when discussing navigating the social terrain of school. It shows the value of resilience and emphasises that we can make our own personal decisions about how we act in society.
New Zealand Association of Counsellors
I suggest this book is helpful for primary and intermediate aged school children who are struggling to find a group of friends where they fit in and belong, who need the encouragement to discover their own identity, strengths and to take the initiative to find ways to meet their needs free from peer pressure.
This is the first picture book I have seen that offers encouragement and understanding to children who struggle with spelling. They will relate to the discouragement of having their spelling errors constantly corrected and will find encouragement that their creative ideas are more important.
The story has a message at another level for teachers – to consider the negative effect that an overemphasis on correct spelling can have on children’s attitude towards writing.
Counsellors will find this a helpful resource for children aged 5 – 10 who have lost confidence due to their spelling difficulties. Teachers who have an emphasis on correct spelling might be challenged reading this book!
“An empowering story about finding yourself and encouraging others to do the same.”
Corner on Character
“she decides to create a Club of her own, the Can-Do Club, a place where everybody not only belongs, but also gets a voice and choices of their own. Now doesn’t THAT have your heart doing cartwheels?”
Blue Wolf Reviews
“Turning Cartwheels is a wonderful way of showing children alternative ways to solve problems.” Click here for the full review.
Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators
“Emma is desperate to join Carly’s Cartwheel Club, who show off their acrobatic tricks in the playground at lunchtime. But when Emma is finally accepted, she finds that being part of the gang isn’t as awesome as she expected.” Click here to read more.
School Days Magazine
“A pleasantly illustrated, hard cover picture book to read with ages 6+.” Click here for the full review.
“This is an energetic story about choices and not staying in situations that don’t work for you.” Click here for the full review.
“A story with a warm heart, with illustrations to make you giggle, with challenge, with friends and with an important message. Be yourself.” Click here for the full review.
The Bottom Shelf
“An excellent addition to your collection and lessons about what friendship and bullying is, taking the reader into the realm of how friendships change as children get older.” Click here for the full review.
Dr Tanya McDonnaugh founder of TMC Psychology writing for Motherdom
“A sweet book with colourful and animated illustration about how exhausting it can be trying to fit in and the joy of being and individual.” Click here for the full review.
“Turning Cartwheels is an excellent book to read to school aged children to start a discussion on how to be more inclusive of everyone despite their differences in abilities.” Click here for the full review.
Linda’s Book Bag
“Turning Cartwheels is an excellent story for exploring the desire to belong and the subtle bulling and exclusion children can feel. I can envisage it being used to discuss how children treat one another in the playground.” Click here for the full review.
“Many children yearn to belong to a group, to show their friends that they too are capable and worthy. This little story touches on many themes in a light-hearted way and can lead to insightful discussions about the perils and benefits of being in a group.” Click here for the full review.
Heather Gallagher, GoodReads
“Sadly bullying, cliques and fitting in are perennial issues for kids and they seem to be taking hold at an increasingly young age. This charming read will be accessible to young kids (early primary) and help them navigate this often thorny problem … I can see it inspiring young kids to start their own Can Do Clubs. This would be a great resource in the classroom as well. Highly recommended.” Click here for the full review.
What Book Next?
“A wonderful story about finding your own strength, stepping away from those who make you feel bad, or put you down, and making goods things happen yourself.” Click here for the full review.