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When A Bully is President


Truth and Creativity for Oppressive Times

Cuando El Presidente es un Bulí: La Verdad y la Creatividad en Tiempos Opresivos

Paperback, 48 pages
Story Text in English & Spanish

Written & Illustrated by Maya Gonzalez
Intended Audience: Ages 7-10/Grades 2-5

Self-Care for Kids! A children’s book to talk about current and historical oppression and bullying in the United States while focusing on the important role kids can play using creativity and self love as a base to develop strength during difficult times.

more book details below
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Self-Care for Kids! This is not your usual kid’s book! This book is a call to BE, to step forward and LOVE yourself, LOVE your community, know your history and your powerful place in it and strengthen your own creative power! This book is a tool to use. I created it because I know you are an important part of our world and your strength matters.

Bullying is real, but we can change the story by changing the focus. Begin with yourself. Begin the journey of art activist. You are the artist. You are the storyteller. Change yourself. Change the world!

Watch the Video:

(listen to Maya as she reads the book in English and shares some final and in-process art)

Playful ink and watercolor illustrations support a powerful journey that touches on bullying in the founding history of the US, how that history may still be impacting kids and families today, and ways to use creativity and self-respect in the face of negative messages for all marginalized communities. The first part of the book briefly acknowledges the United States’ past and present and shows some basic forms of activism that kids engage in. The next part talks about walking away from a bully or de-escalation and focusing on how to take care of yourself and community. Finally practical ways creativity and portraiture can be used to support self-respect and spread respect in community are explored. Communities reflected include Native Americans, African Americans, Mexican Americans, Chicanx, LGBTQ Americans, disabled Americans, Americans who identify as women and girls, Muslim and Sikh Americans and Asian Americans. The back includes related resources and referrals.

Award-winning children’s book artist and author Maya Gonzalez draws from 20 years working with kids using her Claiming Face curriculum, to provide a place for kids to land during difficult times and counteract the impact of oppression with truth, expression and personal creative power.

As stories surface near and far about increased harassment in the schools and on the streets, we know how important it is for our kids to see us center and value our lives and communities. This book is an opportunity to talk more about what’s going on, how it fits into the history of bullying in the US and what we can do about it, while providing a structure to use our creative power to stay strong and focused on ourselves.

Join us in developing/continuing traditions that teach our kids expressive, creative skills and self esteem to continue negotiating life in the US. When a Bully is President: Truth and Creativity for Oppressive Times supports our families and communities in becoming stronger by investing in our own identity, creative power and self love.

View the Reader’s Guide and other resources for When a Bully is President here.

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Weight 6 oz
Dimensions 8 x 10 x .13 in


Date of Publication

February 20, 2017


10”(L) x 8”(W) x .13”(D)

No. of Pages

48 pages


Paperback; Full Color

Intended Audience

Children Ages 7-10, Grade Level 2-5


JNF053220 – Juvenile Nonfiction : Social Issues – Bullying
JNF025170 – Juvenile Nonfiction : History – United States/General
JNF053160 – Juvenile Nonfiction : Social Issues – Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance


Story text in English & Spanish