Remember complaining to your parents about that school yard bully and their response was, ‘just ignore them.’ In the new children’s book by Maria Cross, we learn that sometimes ignoring is easier said than done. The characters in “If Only I Could Ignore You” deal with the reality of those mean spirited students who use words to hurt and embarrass. When faced with those situations day-in-and-day-out, ignoring them isn’t really an option. So what can we do instead?
“I remember when my children were faced with being bullied in school. Every day they encountered the same negative behavior and as much as they wanted to ignore the hurtful words, it just wasn’t easy,” said mom and author Maria E. Cross. “I explained to them that children are not born mean, it is a learned behavior; one they might even be witnessing at home. If someone is being mean, it really speaks to the fact that there is something going on in their home life that brings out that attitude.”
The illustrator, Chad Thompson, brings the characters to life in this colorful book about dealing with bully behavior. The story reminds us that we are all different, some have freckles while others may be a little bit larger or have wrinkled clothing, but inside we are all worthwhile and worthy of friendship.
“I raised my children to be empathetic and to seek out those that were sitting alone or needed a friend,” said Cross. “In this book the characters bond together over the fact that they are different and really just want to have a friend to play with. And when you look beyond the bully behavior, often times you find that bullies are lonely too.”
“It is sad to realize that bullying continues to be a problem for our children in school,” said Lisa Umina, founder and publisher with Halo Publishing International. “Maria’s book does a wonderful job of showing that although we are all different; a little kindness goes a long way.”
“If Only I Could Ignore You” is now available at Barnes and Noble and Amazon, in paperback for $11.95.
About Maria E. Cross
Maria E. Cross is a lifelong Clevelander who has enjoyed a long career as a radio and television personality. To comfort her children at bedtime, she would make up stories as they drifted off to sleep. Now she’s ready to share some of her kids’ favorite stories. Maria currently lives in North Royalton, Ohio with her husband, Alan, her son Thomas, two dogs and a cat.