| |

The Watermelon Shield – Book Review & Author’s Reflections

The Watermelon Shield Picture Story Book For Children Who Need To Protect Themselves From Bullying.

Book Title:  The Watermelon Shield

Authors:  Rose McCallum (she/her) and Finn McCallum (they/them)

Illustrator:  mikemotz.com

For ages:  6-10 years (a good read for all ages)

Topics:  bullying, kindness, compassion, empathy, character development, juvenile self-help

Related learning areas:  social and emotional learning (SEL), well-being/self-confidence, communication/healthy boundaries


About the book

The Watermelon Shield is a true story co-authored by Rose and Finn McCallum (both real life characters in the book and a mom and child duo - along with their dog Ginger!).

Two Cartoon Kids With A Message: Teachers Sign Up For Out Quarterly Newsletter For Free Sel And Kindness Resources

The story shares how Finn overcomes bullying at school by developing a compassionate understanding of why bullying happens and ways to handle these situations through conversations with Mom.

When Finn continues to struggle, internalizing the unkind words from the bully, Rose comes up with the idea and visual coping tool/symbolism of a watermelon shield for Finn to use to protect their heart. The best part of the story is that it worked and kept unkind words from hurting!

‘The Watermelon Shield’ encourages children to stay happy and confident in themselves, and be kind, empathetic and understanding towards others.

Some of the key learning points in their story:

  • To help children grasp a deeper understanding of why children bully.
  • To create an understanding that children who bully often aren’t getting the love and kindness that they need in their own lives & when they say or do things that are unkind, those things are merely a reflection of how they feel inside (in big terms ‘projection’).
  • Unkind words and actions have nothing to do with the child who is targeted, and everything to do with the child who is bullying.

And to remember:

  • People who have love and kindness in their hearts don’t say or do things to hurt other people.
  • Always wish for kindness in other people’s hearts.
  • Always protect your heart and bring out your imaginary ‘Watermelon Shield’ & stay your awesome and amazing self!
The Watermelon Shield Page 7
The Watermelon Shield Page 17

Why we wrote it

When Rose came up with the idea for Finn to use a ‘Watermelon Shield’ at school, there was no thought that it would turn into a book. It was just a simple visual coping strategy to help with the establishment of healthy boundaries. It was two years later, when Finn was eight years old, they decided to write a book about ‘The Watermelon Shield’.

Finn felt very strongly that the story could help many children who were coping with bullying. Finn wanted to share our strategy so others who feel victimized by bullying could develop a better understanding of bullying behaviors and maintain their self-confidence.

It took us 3 years to develop, write, create the ideas for the illustrations that our illustrator amazingly brought to life, and then self-publish. 

Page 9 From The Watermelon Shield Picture Story Book For Kids.
The Watermelon Shield Page 21

What we hope children learn from it

We hope our book will empower and build self-confidence in children who are targeted by bullying behaviors, help children develop a compassionate understanding of why bullying happens, and that it will inspire change in those who carry out bullying behaviors - whether they are children or grown- ups! 

We believe that everyone has the ability to be a loving and kind person!

We truly hope that it helps a child you know, as much as it helped Finn grow, and understand!

How we hope parents and teachers use it

We hope that parents & teachers will find ‘The Watermelon Shield’ a great ‘go to’ resource for their children/students who are experiencing bullying, and who also may be exhibiting bullying behaviors.   We believe our book will inspire positive changes in feelings, understanding, compassion, kindness, and behavior for everyone while helping children stay true to who they are!

The Ripple Kindness Project School Curriculum Book With A Kindness Card And Resources With Copy Explaining What It Is.
Rose And Finn Mccallum Authors Holding Their Book The Watermelon Shield With Their Dog.

AUTHORS: Rose McCallum (she/her) and Finn McCallum (they/them) - The Watermelon Shield
Rose & Finn McCallum are from Ontario, Canada. Finn is actively involved in art, swims, and helps out rearing butterflies in the summer. Rose is a Registered Horticultural Therapy practitioner often incorporating the use of symbolism with gardening and nature, and butterfly rearing in her programming.  
Follow 'The Watermelon Shield' on facebook.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *