A Personal Note From Spoops:
Once in a while you are lucky enough to bump into a project that’s life changing. I have spent the better part of a year illustrating Phil’s written world and all of the amazing characters in Bully Control.
My main goal was to create characters that kids could relate to and connect with and illustrate clearly the emotions and behaviors described in the book.Bully Control really resonated with me. The author, P. L., did such a great job with the story.
Bullying is personal to most of us. I think many of us have our own stories to tell. Moments in our childhood and even in our adult lives that make us stop and question ourselves and those around us.
As a child I was extremely shy. I kept to myself and my social skills were lacking. Perhaps others didn’t understand me and I was in no position to explain myself. So there I was a silent shy kid walking in the school lunchroom and minding my own business when a student stood up and shoved a pickle up my nose.
Firstly, if you’ve seen me in person my nose is VERY SMALL. Though the pickle was a mini pickle to this day I can’t figure out how that happened!
This seems funny, but standing there, beat red from my toes to my burning face in front of an entire lunchroom of people, stunned and trying to pull a pickle out of my nose…that day changed me.
Unable to figure out why the heck someone would shove a pickle up my nose, unable to say anything to the girl who did it I slunk out of the lunchroom and further into my world of silence.
The words for what I was feeling would come much later in my life. Violated, hated, assaulted, humiliated and my confidence as a little person took a huge hit.
I told no one, I had no words or skills for such a thing. I felt more disconnected to people and if it was even possible, I believe I became even more introverted.
Bullying comes in all shapes and sizes. Bullying happens to all types of people.
I can’t say enough about P. L.’s story. He has woven a tale of a child that is moving through life, having fun, encountering problems, and going through what kids go through. P. L.’s books teaches the coping skills that kids need and it does it in such a fun and inspiring way.
At the end of the day, do I think a book series can solve anything? Maybe they can. Being aware of what bullying is will not only help kids identify that they are in fact being bullied but it can also help stop a kid from doing something thoughtless that maybe was not intentionally bullying.
Giving kids the words for the situations can help out a lot. Opening up a dialogue between parents and kids about bullying is another great thing. And when reading this book, the kids are going to be laughing out loud and reciting what is going on…they are going to be talking about it.
More than anything, if I had read this book as a kid I really believe it would have helped me to understand what had happened to me. I don’t think I would have felt so alone, and I KNOW I would have found a friend in Samuel B. Sensible.
Thank you for taking the time to read this!