A simple modification of famous lyrics to spread an anti-bullying message that is as necessary today as on the day the song that inspired it was released.
In her third picture book offering that uses one of her father’s songs as inspiration, Cedella Marley (Every Little Thing, illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton, 2012, etc.) touches on the topics of bullying and ostracism and on the courage it takes to combat them. She delivers a statement about social justice and bravery in an appropriately simple style that children can grasp. The result is a message of empowerment and unity: that standing up for yourself inspires others to do the same and may help to bring people together rather than continue a practice of exclusion and belittling. It is very much in keeping with the import of Bob Marley’s words in the song of the same name. Vibrant illustrations from Cabuay show a diverse cast of children, which will certainly help with accessibility to children from all walks of life. He depicts children getting up and standing up at the bus stop and on the bus, on city streets, and in parks. The final joyous double-page spread finds a joyous, multiracial crowd joining a neighborhood festival above which flies a flag depicting the late musician and the legend “One Love.”
Moral: It’s never too early to learn to stand up for yourself or others in the face of injustice. (afterword) (Picture book. 3-8)