Having seen what being left out is like, children become agents of change, convincing their teacher to let them build a buddy bench.
A school playground can be a solitary place for a kid without playmates; in one survey, 80 percent of 8- to 10-year-old respondents described being lonely at some point during a school day.
Patty Brozo’s cast of kids brings a playground to raucous life, and Mike Deas’s illustrations invest their games with imaginary planes to fly, dragons to tame, and elephants to ride. And these kids match their imaginations with empathy, identifying and swooping up the lonely among them.
Buddy benches are appearing in schoolyards around the country. Introduced from Germany in 2014, the concept is simple: When a child sits on the bench, it’s a signal to other kids to ask him or her to play.
About the Author
BROZO (Green Valley, AZ and Traverse City, MI) has been writing stories for and about children since taking creative writing classes in college. She is the author of Miss Pinkeltink’s Purse and The Buddy Bench.
DEAS (Salt Spring Island, British Columbia) got his flair for illustrative storytelling from an early love of reading and drawing.He fine-tuned his drawing skills and imagination at Capilano College’s Commercial
Animation Program in Vancouver, then work as a concept artist, texture artist,
and art lead in the video game industry took him to England and California before he returned to with his family to sunny Salt Spring Island.