Today’s book (Beegu, by Alexis Deacon) isn’t really about bullying, but it’s a delightful book for tinies that emphasises the value of welcoming strangers and showing kindness.
Beegu is an alien who, for reasons unknown, lands on Earth where she tries to make friends with everyone she meets, but the only people who stop and reach out to her are the puppies abandoned outside a dog’s home and the children in a playpark. The grown-ups don’t try to understand her. All they see is someone who does not look like them, and Beegu is cruelly rejected by them. When her parents finally find her, Beegu has much to tell them about Earth creatures, and the small ones who accepted her.
Beegu is adorable, and will be instantly loved by children, and maybe that’s the point. Children see a little creature who doesn’t look like them, but who needs friendship and whom they will love anyway. Maybe it’s us grown-ups who really need this book, not them. Maybe this is a book for children to teach the grown-ups in their lives about accepting people who don’t look like them, people who speak a different language and act in strange ways.
Beegu is a beautiful book, and her message is needed now, perhaps more than ever.