Politics. Sometimes it seems we can never get away from them- in our government, in our offices, even in our own homes. But have you ever stopped to think about playground politics? Because, believe it or not, they exist, even in the littlest of children. Joseph Kuefler’s fantastic new book, Rulers of the Playground, highlights playground dynamics perfectly, making this story a must for both your home and school collections. If you loved Kuefler’s debut, Beyond the Pond, as much as we did, I promise you will be just as thrilled- if not more so, with Kuefler’s latest picture book.
In Rulers of the Playground, a boy named Jonah unilaterally decides that he is the all mighty king of the neighborhood hot-spot. Life on the playground runs fairly smoothly under his rule, until, that is, one embittered Lennox determines that she should be queen and half the playground is actually her territory to govern. As each ruler makes a plan to take over his own side of the playground, they became more and more territorial and more and more aggressive. Their actions, in turn, cause the other neighborhood kids to become more disgruntled by the day- until suddenly there is no one left for the king and queen to play with. Will Jonah and Lennox be able to make amends with their friends… or each other? Only one way to find out!
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Pickle and I absolutely adore this book for the manner in which it helps us discuss how Jonah and Lennox could have made better choices. There is nothing wrong with a child being a leader among his peers, but there is a way to lead with kindness and respect that must be taught to even the youngest kids. Right off the bat, then, Rulers of the Playground is a springboard for important — if not critical – conversations about making the “right” decisions, kindness, leadership, cooperation and flexibility, just to name a few. And, as if that is not enough, it is virtually impossible not to love a book that handles these significant concepts in a masterful, non-didactic manner. Couple the foregoing with Kuefler’s beautiful — and beautifully diverse — illustrations which will allow kids of all color, shapes and sizes to find themselves within the pages of this book, and Rulers of the Playground is sure to be loved by your students and little ones for years to come. There’s no sophomore slump here – two big trunks up from team HEE!
Want the book? Get it here! Rulers of the Playground, by Joseph Kuefler. And if you want to check out Kuefler’s stellar debut, Beyond the Pond, click here! *This is an affiliate link. Rulers of the Playground was provided to us from the publisher, but all opinions contained herein are our own.