“Inspired by the story of Jonathan Antoine…Dedicated to the hopes and dreams of children everywhere.”
Jonathan the Porcupine
By Cathie Gebbart & Jonathan Antoine
Illustrated by Chelsea Rae Meeker
Anti-Bullying Week - 13th to 17th November 2017
‘Jonathan the Porcupine’ was inspired by the story of Jonathan Antoine as told on Britain's Got Talent. His story of being bullied for his looks resonated with so many people. It’s not often that body image issues for boys are discussed. They are expected to just handle the bullying that happens. We know that the results of bullying can be tragic, and it’s hoped that by sharing this story, it will help people remember to inspire rather than ignore children.
The book is part of the ‘Dan the Fish Series’ of children’s books which is a collaborative effort of many people who dealt with learning and physical issues in school. The books are divided into three parts. The first is a story about an animal that has a problem similar to those that children with disabilities face every day. The second part is a reflection from a child’s perspective. The third part is a brief introduction of the adult who helped inspire the story.
The purpose of the books is to inspire all children to be who they are. Presented in a creative manner, the ‘Dan the Fish Series’ hopes to show kids that there are others like them, who felt like they do, and that they too can overcome their challenges and difficulties. These books can also be used as discussion starters in the classroom, for those in teaching programs and anyone working with people with disabilities. The hope is that this series will bring understanding, encourage compassion, and help to end bullying of all children.
JONATHAN THE INSPIRATION
Jonathan Antoine is a talented musician with an incredible singing voice. His story was told when he was a contestant on Britain’s Got Talent in 2012, which helped start his career as a vocalist.
Jonathan says, “There’s only one way to express what music gives me. It gives me purpose. It gives me point. When I sing, I can just be me.” Jonathan credits his singing coach as one of the greatest influences of his young life.
Jonathan was bullied as a young child and became despondent at times. Music helped him find his place in the world. Jonathan wants children to know that they are not alone, and he hopes adults will help each child realize his or her potential.
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