15 Anti-Bullying Books for Young Kids

15 Anti-Bullying Books for Young Kids

Help your youngsters better understand what a bully is, bullying tactics, and how to prevent them by reading books that focus on empathy, inclusion, kindness, conflict resolution, and confidence.

Here are our favorite anti-bullying books that are perfect for kids in Pre-K through early elementary school.




1. Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon

Be yourself like Molly Lou Melon no matter what a bully may do. Molly Lou Melon is short and clumsy, has buck teeth, and has a voice that sounds like a bullfrog being squeezed by a boa constrictor. She doesn’t mind. Her grandmother has always told her to walk proud, smile big, and sing loud, and she takes that advice to heart. But then Molly Lou has to start in a new school. A horrible bully picks on her on the very first day, but Molly Lou Melon knows just what to do about that. 



anti-bullying books

2. We’re All Wonders

Countless fans have asked R. J. Palacio to write a book for younger readers. Palacio shows readers what it’s like to live in Auggie’s world—a world in which he feels like any other kid but is not always seen that way. We’re All Wonders may be Auggie’s story, but it taps into every child’s longing to belong, and to be seen for who they truly are. It’s the perfect way for families and educators to talk about empathy and kindness with young children.



anti-bully books

3. The Juice Box Bully

Have you ever seen a bully in action and done nothing about it? The kids at Pete’s new school get involved, instead of being bystanders. When Pete begins to behave badly, his classmates teach him about “The Promise”. Will Pete decide to shed his bullying habits and make “The Promise”?



anti-bullying books

4. Kindness Starts With You

Follow Maddy through her day at school, where your child will learn how easy it can be to spread kindness. From taking turns on the swing to including everyone in the game – this storybook shows that no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted! A lightbulb lesson of kindness is found on each page!



anti-bullying books

5. Stick and Stone

When Stick rescues Stone from a prickly situation with a Pinecone, the pair becomes fast friends. But when Stick gets stuck, can Stone return the favor? Author Beth Ferry makes a memorable debut with a warm, rhyming text that includes a subtle anti-bullying message even the youngest reader will understand. In this funny story about kindness and friendship, Stick and Stone join George and Martha, Frog and Toad, and Elephant and Piggie, as some of the best friend duos in children’s literature.



anti-bullying books for kids

6. Chrysanthemum

Chrysanthemum is a funny and honest school story about teasing, self-esteem, and acceptance to share all year round. Chrysanthemum thinks her name is absolutely perfect—until her first day of school. “You’re named after a flower!” teases Victoria. “Let’s smell her,” says Jo. Chrysanthemum wilts. What will it take to make her blossom again? Chrysanthemum is a classic that gets children thinking about and bonding with their own names and the names of everyone else in the class, and it’s the perfect vehicle for starting a discussion about treating classmates with tolerance, kindness, and compassion.



anti-bullying books

7. Purplicious

In this follow-up to the New York Times bestselling Pinkalicious, a young girl remains true to herself and discovers that pink isn’t only a pretty color, but also a powerful one. While everyone knows Pinkalicious’s favorite color is pink, the bullies at her new school don’t agree. All the girls are wearing black, painting in black, and making fun of Pinkalicious for loving pink. “Pink is for babies and stinks!” they tell her. Pinkalicious feels left out until she learns that pink can be a powerful color, and that the most important thing is to be yourself.



anti bullying books for kids

8. Monty the Manatee

Meet Monty. He’s a big creature with an even bigger heart. Monty’s nervous because it’s his first day at Sea School. He tries to make new friends but the other sea creatures think he’s a bit slow and strange….so they’re mean to him and call him names! When a dangerous predator invades the classroom and threatens to eat them all for his supper, Monty comes up with a plan. Is he brave or clever enough to save them all? The other creatures don’t think he is.



anti-bullying books

9. Empathy is Your Super Power

Learning to understand and care about the feelings of others is one of the most important steps in a child’s development―and it’s never too early to help little ones build those skills. This beautifully illustrated storybook teaches young kids how to recognize and practice empathy through simple real-life scenarios that are easy for them to understand. It’s written with clear language for adults to read aloud and features discussion questions and activities that encourage kids to talk about what they learned and use it in their lives.



anti-bullying books

10. One

Blue is a quiet color. Red’s a hothead who likes to pick on Blue. Yellow, Orange, Green, and Purple don’t like what they see, but what can they do? When no one speaks up, things get out of hand — until One comes along and shows all the colors how to stand up, stand together, and count. As budding young readers learn about numbers, counting, and primary and secondary colors, they also learn about accepting each other’s differences and how it sometimes just takes one voice to make everyone count.



anti-bullying books

11. It’s OK to be Different

Every Child is Unique! Whether they are big or small, short or tall, like to swim, dance, sing, or bike. Perhaps they have a special need or are from a different ethnic background. Maybe they wear glasses or talk differently. The truth is that all children are different and their individuality should be celebrated, not bullied or shunned. And this inspiring and brightly illustrated rhyming picture book does just that. By highlighting the ways kids are different from one another, it helps children to accept themselves and others as the beautifully unique individuals that they are. 



anti-bully books for kids

12. Enemy Pie

It was the perfect summer. That is, until Jeremy Ross moved into the house down the street and became neighborhood enemy number one. Luckily Dad had a surefire way to get rid of enemies: Enemy Pie. But part of the secret recipe is spending an entire day playing with the enemy! In this funny yet endearing story, one little boy learns an effective recipe for turning a best enemy into a best friend.



anti-bully books for kids

13. The Recess Queen

Mean Jean was Recess Queen and nobody said any different. Nobody swung until Mean Jean swung. Nobody kicked until Mean Jean kicked. Nobody bounced until Mean Jean bounced. If kids ever crossed her, she’d push ’em and smoosh ’emlollapaloosh ’em, hammer ’em, slammer ’emkitz and kajammer ’em. Until a new kid came to school! With her irrepressible spirit, the new girl dethrones the reigning recess bully by becoming her friend in this infectious playground romp.



anti-bullying books

14. Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun

Lucy has big hair, eats fun foods and is teased by a boy named Ralph at school because she is different. She tries to be brave but she wishes the teasing would stop. What should I do? she asks herself over and over. Lucy’s Papa Gino reminds her to do the right thing and treat people with kindness. So when Ralph gets stuck on the playground and needs help, will Lucy use this chance to teach Ralph a lesson? Or will she have the courage to be true to herself and make the right choice with an act of kindness?



anti-bullying books

15. Llama Llama and the Bully Goat

Llama Llama is learning lots of new things at school and making many friends. But when Gilroy Goat starts teasing him and some of their classmates, Llama Llama isn’t sure what to do. And then he remembers what his teacher told him—walk away and tell someone. It works! But then Llama Llama feels badly. Can he and Gilroy try to be friends again?



What are your favorite anti-bullying books for young readers? Tell us in the comments below!


This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or www.calcas.com.

Renters – Do’s and Don’ts

Renters – Do’s and Don’ts

Millions of Americans choose to rent over buying homes and apartments each year, and there are a ton of advantages. For instance, if a window starts leaking or the stove dies, you don’t have to pay for repairs or replacements. You have the flexibility to move when you want (subject to your lease), “try out” new cities, and avoid the big costs that go along with mortgage loans and homeownership.

To be a good tenant and start your rental out on the right foot, here are some important renter do’s and don’ts.



renters dos



Understand your lease – Make sure you and your landlord review the lease together and that you ask any questions you have. For example, does the lease allow subletters? What’s the duration and does it change after the first year?

Write an inventory – Make sure to document and log all existing damage or broken/non-functional items before you officially move in. Take photos and indicate any damage on a floor layout/ diagram. You don’t want to be on the hook for these repairs when you move out.

Understand your responsibilities – As the tenant, you may be required to do things like shovel the walk, keep the lawn mowed or hire a pool service.

Document problems – If there are ongoing issues or needed repairs, make sure you write down what happened, take pictures, etc. Alert your landlord to issues right away so they can take action. Keep a paper trail and keep it all in one place.

Keep it clean – Neglecting to bring the garbage bins in from the sidewalk or to keep the yard clean or tidy can quickly create an enticing environment for pests and rodents.

Check-in with your landlord – For minor repairs or maintenance, such as unclogging drains or replacing caulk or window screens, it’s best to check in with your landlord about how they want to address it (even if you’d like to just take care of it yourself). if you are unsure of anything or have questions regarding the property, like painting rooms or changing landscaping, reach out to your landlord.

Give them a heads up – On things like leaks, structural or foundation issues, and pest problems, alert your landlord as soon as possible so they can act on a problem that could get worse quickly or cause costly damage.

Protect your deposit – Besides treating your place well while you live there, when you move out, do a quality deep clean and don’t leave furniture or anything else behind that they’ll need to deal with.

Be a good communicator (and neighbor) – Good communications can prevent or de-escalate miscommunications and disagreements with your landlord as well as neighbors.

Know your rights – It’s important to know your rights as a tenant. They vary by state and city, so go here to learn more.

Get renters insurance – Renters insurance protects your belongings from theft and damage (nope, your landlord’s insurance won’t cover your things). It’s surprisingly affordable – get a quote today.



renters donts



Hide a pet – If your lease specifies no pets, stick to the agreement (hiding a pet won’t work over the long term). Also make sure to adhere to animal weight limits, which are often established to allow only cats and small dogs in an apartment complex. Consequences for breaking these rules can include a hefty fine or even lease dismissal.

Undertake big renovations – We all want to make our homes more home-y, but complex projects such as adding ceiling fans or replacing cabinetry should only be undertaken by the property owner.

Fall behind on the bills – Depending on your lease agreement, you may end up being responsible for bills such as utilities, water, garbage, recycling, gardener, pest control or pool maintenance. Keeping those accounts current will ensure smooth maintenance as well as strengthen your credit.

Create a mildew problem – One of landlords’ most frequent complaints is about tenants not keeping moisture levels in check. To prevent mold and mildew formation, make sure to use vents and fans in bathrooms during (and after) every shower.

Cause damage – Treating your rental with care and respect will mean lessening the chances of inflicting damage such as stained carpets, scratches in hardwood, broken windows or fixtures, large holes in the walls, and water damage from plants. It will also ensure you get more (if not all) of your security deposit back. If accidental damage does occur (we’re only human, after all), make your landlord aware of it ASAP.


Landlords choose their tenants very carefully – especially those with nice properties. By taking care of your rental home and maintaining a good relationship with your landlord, you will set yourself apart as a responsible tenant. This will positively affect your credit score, help you get your whole security deposit back, and ensure you have a good reference for that next great rental.


This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or www.calcas.com.

Choosing the Right Home Security System

Choosing the Right Home Security System

You’ve got a few tools at your disposal for protecting your possessions. First, there’s homeowner’s insurance in the case of theft or loss, but you can also take steps to prevent theft in the first place, by getting a quality home security system.

There are lots of great options out there, and as technology continues to progress, the choices keep expanding. In fact, it can all be a bit overwhelming, so let’s dive into the top considerations you’ll want to look at when choosing a security system – including your first decision point: whether to go with a DIY or a professionally installed system.


DIY vs. Professionally Installed

DIY systems come as packaged kits that you need to install yourself. For most, you’ll be doing the security monitoring, usually via a smartphone app, but some require you to pay for professional monitoring. Professionally installed systems, on the other hand, are installed by a technician, and monitoring is done by the company (trained dispatchers verify triggered alarms and dispatch authorities when needed).

DIY Systems:


      • Flexibility in tailoring a system to your needs
      • Less expensive and usually no monthly fees


      • Requires you to install the system correctly
      • You’re responsible for monitoring (i.e. not missing a smartphone alert!)


Pro-Installed Systems:


      • System is expertly installed by a trained technician
      • 24/7 monitoring by professionals who can dispatch at a moment’s notice


      • More expensive, with installation and monthly service fees (as well as potential false alarm fees, add-on components, and other fees)
      • Usually require multi-year contracts


Popular Systems

Here are some of the most well-known and top-rated systems on the market. In your research, you may find others as well.

DIY Systems:


Pro-Installed Systems:


7 Additional Considerations

As you further hone your choices – be they DIY or pro – here are some other things to take into account.

1. Wireless vs. wired. Systems can be wired or wireless (or sometimes have elements of both). The basic difference is that your control panel and network of sensors are on either a cellular or a landline connection. What you choose will depend on what you need from the system. That said, always make sure to choose a system that includes two-factor authentication for extra security.

2. Pick a system that fits your lifestyle. For instance, is it mainly for when you’re out of town, or also while you’re at home? Do you want it to do smart-home integration, like turning lights off/on, controlling the thermostat, or have sensors for fire, water leak, and glass breaks?

3. Tailor it to your home. For instance, homes with large yards or outdoor areas typically need cameras; condos or apartments can get away with simpler systems.

4. Do your research. No matter if you’re installing your own system or going with a company, learn about all the components available – oftentimes, your system will be a tailored combo of what makes the most sense for keeping your home safe and secure. Systems can include any of the following: control panels, base stations, keypad, locks, contact sensors, motion sensors (interior and exterior), entry sensors, key fobs, glass break sensors, security cameras, door and window sensors, and a variety of different alarms and/or sirens. Most also have signs for your yard or windows to advertise that yours is a secure home.

5. Freedom vs. convenience. If going the DIY route, weigh whether you want the added security of having professional monitoring or if you want to do this yourself. If you’d rather not have that constant responsibility (or stress), that will limit your choices for DIY systems.

6. Conduct due diligence. If you’re leaning towards pro-installed, make sure you get three custom quotes and are clear about how the contracts differ and their terms. Also, take advantage of an in-home consultation if the companies offer it.

7. Check with your local police department. Some municipalities require that anyone running their own security system with professional monitoring obtain a permit. This ensures that their law enforcement and authorities are aware of alarm systems in their jurisdiction.

Choosing the right home security system is a highly personal choice that depends on your lifestyle, budget, home features, and the value of your belongings. Do your research and take your time – but also give yourself a high-five for taking action! Security systems can not only save you money from potential theft, but also prevent the trauma of dealing with a break-in (no one needs that stress right now!). Good luck and also remember to make sure your home insurance is up to date.


This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or www.calcas.com.

10 Hacks to Pay Off Your Vehicle Loan Faster

10 Hacks to Pay Off Your Vehicle Loan Faster

Do you have a car loan? If so, welcome to the (big) club! – Americans owe a collective $1.3 trillion in auto loan debt. Yikes!

If you’re like most others, you’re probably wondering how you can pay your loan off faster. Below are some strategies, tips, and tricks to help you get to the finish line sooner rather than later. The best thing is, you can start on all the below right away!


  1. See if there’s a prepayment penalty – Some lenders disincentivize early payoff (because they want the interest) by including this penalty in your loan terms. If yours includes this, you’ll need to do some calculations comparing which method will be wiser: pay off early with the penalty or pay off over time as normal (with the interest).


  1. Consider refinancing – If your loan has a high-interest rate, shop around for other loan options. These could include your bank, a different bank, a credit union or even a credit card with a good transfer option. If your credit score has improved since your original loan, you’ll probably be able to get a better deal. Go for a shorter loan term rather than a long one – the goal is to pay it off quickly.


  1. Round up – This is an easy and relatively painless way to start knocking down the debt when your budget doesn’t have a ton of wiggle room. The idea is to round up your regular payments as much as you can afford. If your payments are $350, round up to $400. Over time, those extra dollars add up.


  1. Cancel the extras – When you first took out your loan (especially if you did so through a dealership), you may have added on some extras such as service contracts, GAP (or Guaranteed Asset Protection) waivers, extended warranties, service contracts or warranties for tires and wheels. Unless these are truly useful, consider canceling them.


  1. Make bi-weekly payments – If you usually pay monthly, you can play a mental trick on yourself to make a good dent on your loan. Split your normal monthly payment in half and make that payment every two weeks.


  1. Use a windfall – Windfalls are an excellent strategy to pay off debt, invest, make IRA contributions or enable purchases that seem out of reach. If your car loan is priority, use any unexpected influx – from a tax return, work bonus, cash gift, etc. – and put a chunk down on your loan. Check to make sure any extra payment you send will go to reducing the principal, instead of toward interest or other fees.


  1. Start a side hustle – This could be short-term or temporary, but earning extra income is a great way to pay off part or all of your loan balance in a fairly short amount of time. Even just a few weeks or months could do the trick.


  1. Consider selling your car – If you owe a lot on your vehicle or circumstances (such as financial, family or commute) have changed significantly, you may want to consider selling your vehicle and getting a more affordable one instead.


  1. Pare down expenses – A great rule for ongoing financial health is to do regular budget checks. If you haven’t done so in a while, check out our guide and see where you can free up cash to put towards paying off your loan.


  1. Snowball your payments – “Snowballing” is a debt paydown strategy that goes like this. First, rank your loans/debts from lowest to highest. Then, focus on the smallest loan, paying it off as quickly as possible while making the minimum payments on the rest. Once it’s paid off (and after you’ve done a happy dance), start the process again, using the “extra” money you would have been paying to that first loan and applying it to the next.


If you’ve read this far, congrats on taking the first step to pay your loan off faster! Your two most important tools in reaching your goal are having a plan and having the discipline to execute on it. These actions will not only get you your pink slip faster but also decrease the amount of interest you’ll pay over the life of the loan. Get started today – you can do it!



This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or www.calcas.com.

First Responders, What’s Your Why?

First Responders, What’s Your Why?

Ask any first responder why they chose their profession, and the overwhelming answer is that they were called to serve and help others. Chances are, this was yours too.

The last couple of years have been like no other, with you and your fellow first responders on the frontlines of multiple crises facing our communities and nation all at the same time. It’s been rough going.

But sometimes the antidote to tough times is to reconnect with your “big why” – the reason(s) you signed up for this profession in the first place and why you and your colleagues keep showing up every day, no matter what the day brings. Here are some common “why’s” we hear from first responders – what resonates for you?


Making a Difference

This is one of the few careers where your actions, talents, and presence can make a literal life and death difference. You have a direct impact on improving communities and making them safer. In your role, you often lead by example and can positively influence others, which means you have the privilege of helping someone become their best self.



There’s no feeling quite like being part of a team or unit with a higher purpose. Everyone has their role and is there to support and work with each other toward a common goal. You may go through tough, grueling situations together – some are tragic, but others offer up the best of humanity too. This is your support network that understands you and shares the emotional and mental challenges that come with the job. For many, your “work family” ends up being your closest life-long friends.


Physical Activity

First responder jobs require physical strength and stamina. The profession demands that you stay in shape and in top form – ready for whatever physical challenges the day may throw at you. Many first responders maintain their fitness by running, lifting weights, hiking, and other outdoor activities. This primes you for long days and long hours, bouts of intense activity, and sudden emergency situations.


Flexibility and Mobility

There’s no 9-to-5 here! Your profession offers flexible hours and variety in terms of different placements, shifts, and rotations. For some, this flexible schedule allows them to work a second job or pursue other interests or hobbies. Another perk: You can also work wherever you want! Your skills and training are in demand in cities and communities across the country (and globe, really), which gives you the unique advantage of being able to pick and choose.


No Two Days Are the Same

For a first responder, the constant is change. Each day is different – one day could be an emergency call across town; the next, a day of paperwork in the office; and the next, patrolling a neighborhood that’s experiencing a crime wave. You never know what the day will bring, but you always bring the skills and experience to deal with whatever the situation calls for. If you thrive in these kinds of environments, you picked the right career.


A Reason to be Proud

Because you and your colleagues save lives, stand up for what’s right, and are called to serve others, you’re respected by your communities. Integrity and duty are baked into this career, so you consistently earn the loyalty and admiration of colleagues, friends, family, and community members.


Continual Self-Improvement

This line of work usually includes opportunities for professional development, continuing education, and obtaining training or new skills. If you want to pursue a specialty within your profession or even branch out to another division, there’s usually a clear path and support. Additionally, because this work is mission-driven, it invites self-reflection and personal growth.


Connection with the Community

As a first responder, you build relationships within your community and the neighborhoods you serve. You have the satisfaction of seeing your efforts pay off over the long term. And you’ll be able to team up with organizations and individuals, united in a shared goal of strengthening community bonds.

If anyone is built for resiliency during tough times, it’s you, our first responders. But on those tough days, remember your big why’s and also that your communities and neighbors are grateful for and appreciate you. Sometimes it’s not said enough, but we thank you so much for your service and commitment to keeping us safe!

And finally, if you’re someone who’s looking at pursuing this career, talk to first responders about their experience and advice. Look at enrolling in courses or joining mentoring or other programs offered by your local agencies. You’d be hard-pressed to find a more demanding, mission-driven, and rewarding career.


This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or www.calcas.com.

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