Book Review: A Very Important Power By Wild West Wendy Jo
Nine-year-old Wild West Wendy Jo is a feisty, red-headed, cowboy boot-wearing tomboy. She is considered a misfit by many of her classmates and becomes a target for bullying.
Afraid to go to school, Wendy Jo writes a letter to VIPPI – the main character of her favorite TV program – The Vippi Mouse Show.
When Vippi answers her, everything changes. Vippi leads Wendy Jo on an exciting quest that could help her to solve her problems with the bullies forever. But will Wendy Jo be able to find the treasure?
And what will happen if she does?
According to the American Society for the Positive Care of Children, 160,000 kids per day skip school for fear of being bullied. 1 in 3 students are bullied at school every day, and a whopping 70% of children have witnessed bullying. Bullying has become an important topic around the world. Although the issue of bullying is not new, the consequences of bullying continue to get worse. Parents, teachers, and students need to be conscious and aware of the threat of bullying.
One approach to combat bullying is to educate children early on of the topic. Because of this strategy, the popularity of children’s books covering the issue of bullying has risen. A great book that does an excellent job of covering the topic of bullying is A Very Important Power by Wild West Wendy Jo. It’s a unique illustrated chapter book, that not only empowers the kids being bullied, but it also helps bystanders, and the ones doing the bullying.
A Very Important Power is about a nine-year-old cowgirl named Wild West Wendy Jo who has red hair and loves to wear her cowboy boots. Unfortunately, because Wild West Wendy Jo is different from her classmates, she begins to get bullied so much so that she no longer wants to go to school. Wendy Jo writes a letter to VIPPI Mouse of the VIPPI Treasure Quests Show for advice.
Vippi Mouse answers Wendy Jo’s plead for help, and he encourages Wendy Jo to solve her problems with the bullies at her school. Through an exciting quest filled with treasures, time-traveling, and western filled investigation, this book teaches kindness, courage, and acceptance of self and others. It also teaches young buckaroos that they have the “power of choice and voice” to help combat bullying.
You’ll have a rootin’-tootin’ good old time reading this book. Children will earn their Expert-Expert badge by using their inner compass and Cool Thinkin’ to make the right choices. This book is a phenomenal, fun-filled book that will have your kids using their secret powers to change the world. This is a must-have on bookshelves everywhere!
Why and How to Use it With Your Kids
- Great gift to give a child of any ages.
- Use in a variety of settings including at home and in classrooms.
- Discuss bullying and kindness and how your children feel about it.
- Write to Vippi Mouse about a problem that you may need help with and Vippi Mouse can help you solve.
- Use alongside coloring pages that can be DOWNLOADED HERE.
- Children will learn kindness, courage, and acceptance of self and others
- Use in conjunction with the the Songs, Audio Book, Vippi Code Glossary, and official Vippi Mouse Kid’s Show YouTube channel
- Teach children to be “Upstanders” and how to make the right choices.
- Read alongside the VIPPI CODE Glossary, and AUDIO BOOK.
- Create discussion with your children by utilizing the highlighted words throughout the book, alongside the Glossary offered in the back of the book, to encourage dialog about bullying prevention.
- Sing the Official YOU HAVE THE POWER & VIPPI MOUSE THEME Songs that accompanies the Vippi Mouse Books and Program.
- Build on the bullying prevention examples in the book and have children come up with their own examples of how to be an Expert-Expert Upstander in Bullying Prevention.
- Play the Audio Book or CD, while in the car or on road trips.
Where Can I Find A Very Important Power by Wild West Wendy Jo
About the Author, Wild West Wendy Jo
Wendy Jo Bradshaw, more aptly described by her pen name Wild West Wendy Jo, is a feisty, red-headed, cowboy-boot wearing tomboy and artist, who grew up throughout the Wild West of the Rocky Mountains.
She now lives in Utah very near her children and grandchildren, with her spouse and two little Dachshunds named Annie Oakley and Jackpot. Wendy Jo is an award-winning author, illustrator, and singer, and is excited to finally debut her first solo children’s book titled A Very Important Power. Wendy Jo’s previous five books are a series of personalized books that she hired an author and illustrators to collaborate with. She belongs to the Children’s Media Association, Utah Women in Film and Television, and is also an ally, and member of the Mama Dragons.
“Here’s a photo of eleven-year-old Misfit Me and my renegade brothers when we lived in Arizona. We were a working-class family, but mysteriously, our parents were able to rent this house with a swimming pool, really cheap! More about that later…”
Check out the Bullying Prevention Tips from VIPPI Mouse Below.
Rapid Fire with Wild West Wendy Jo
Q. Tell us about your plans for the future? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
WWWJo: There will be additional books as well as a video series based on Vippi Mouse Treasure Quests. I also plan to do more readings, musical performances, and live-action theater presentations in schools, along with my friend and mascot Vippi Mouse.
Q. How did you become involved in the subject or theme of your book?
WWWJo: I became increasingly alarmed by the epidemic of bullying that has led to an increase in psychological trauma and youth suicides. It is important for me to prepare kids with the appropriate social skills that make it possible for them to deal with bullying.
My book is drawn from my own childhood experiences of feeling like a marginalized young person who didn’t fit in at school. My family moved a lot, and I was the “new kid” more times than I could count. Being an outsider, a redhead, and a tomboy, I was considered a misfit by most of my classmates. As such, I was a prime target for the schoolyard bullies. Never one to run, I chose to use my voice to stand up to the tormentors and even defended other kids from those who tried to ridicule them.
As an adult, I saw how bullying was having a negative impact on my grandchildren. My memories and my grandchildren’s suffering set in motion the idea to help kids find the power of their voice. My goal is to help children feel good about themselves in spite of any intimidation, no matter what others say or do.
Q. What inspires you as a writer?
WWWJo: After surviving Stage III Melanoma cancer, I was greatly appreciative for my life and good health. I grew to be aware of the adventure of treasure hunting for all kinds of riches – from those found in the earth to those found in the heart. I call this search the Treasure Chest of Life (TCL), which represents treasures like gold, but more importantly, treasures that are even more valuable. I have learned that the power of my voice and my choices were the valuable prizes that saved my life. All of my experience has inspired me to help children through my writing and music. Here is my quote about the Treasure Chest of Life, “When you hit rock bottom, remember, bedrock is where you find the gold!”™
Q. What do you like to do when you are not writing?
WWWJo: For adventure, I like treasure hunting in the out-of-doors. I enjoy panning for gold, metal detecting, rock collecting, fishing, and exploring ghost towns and historic ruins and sharing those things with my grandchildren. I love spending time with my family. I prepare delicious foods to share around the swimming pool and play with grandchildren as they splash in the water. I also write music for children and adults and enjoy singing all kinds of songs.
Q. What type of books do you write?
WWWJo: I developed several children’s picture books, and because I am a singer/songwriter at heart, I wrote music to accompany these stories. I combine the gifts of book and songwriting to create empowering books, & music for children, and in the future, I plan to create a video series that will be called, “The Vippi Mouse Kid’s show.” My motto is: Helping Kids See They Are a Treasured VIP.
Q. Can you tell us about one of the most rewarding moments you have had as an author?
WWWJo: The most rewarding moments that I’ve had as an author are seeing the excitement and joy in children as they dance and clap while watching Vippi Mouse and the stories and songs unfold on stage or video. It is very rewarding to share a love of reading and music with children.
Q. Are you working on anything at the present that you would like to share with your readers about?
WWWJo: I am writing and filming episodes of the Vippi Mouse Kid’s Show. Previews of some of these shows are available on our YouTube channel. I am also working on the second book in the Treasure Hunting series.
Q. What do you hope your readers take away from this book?
WWWJo: That through the power of choice and visualization, they can turn negative thinking into positive thinking. I want them to understand the psychology of bullying and through that realization, see that they can make a difference in their own lives and be an Upstander for others. By learning new social skills, their self-esteem increases, giving them the confidence to deal with all kinds of problems, including bullying.
Q. What real-life inspirations did you draw from for the worldbuilding within your book?
WWWJo: I created original words and phrases drawn from Vippi speak and Wild West Wendy Jo lingo and added them to my book and glossary. I did so to create catchy words and word combinations that kids can easily remember, such as Expert-Expert; Vippiology, Vippigram, Upstander, Compass of Cool, Cool Thinkin’, Stinkin’ Thinkin’, Thinkin’ Cap, P.U. (Powerless Ugly) Shoe, Soleless Shoe, Imagicadabra, Easy-Cheesy as well as “Stand Up and Say, Hey That’s Not Okay!” and “That’s A-Okay!”
Q. Is there a message in your book that you hope readers will grasp?
WWWJo: That they can make a positive difference in their lives and be Upstanders for others through kindness and the power of their voice, and that they carry this knowledge with them throughout their lives.
More About the Illustrations
Q. What process takes place in creating your artwork?
WWWJo: I envision and create sketches of the original characters and scenes and hire digital illustrators to bring my ideas to life. This book has the work of several illustrators, including myself.
Q. Can you describe the artistic process behind your illustration creations?
WWWJo: As I write the book, the illustrations, characters, and music start unfolding and come to me through my imagination.
Q. Which page was the most fun to illustrate?
WWWJo: Wendy Jo’s childhood bedroom scene on page 2 was where I incorporated my love of dogs, by creating a likeness of my pet Dachshund as a character in the book. I also brought in my passion for music and the power of voice, by adding details of my vocal microphone and depictions of singers and actors who influenced my life – Barry Manilow, Carol Burnette, and Barbra Streisand.
Q. Did you draw as a child?
WWWJo: Yes, I even tried my hand at oil painting but realized that my talent was in writing and specifically in writing music. I am better at painting stories with music.
Q. What were your favorite books growing up?
WWWJo: Treasure Island, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Charlotte’s Web, Snow White, and the Seven Dwarfs, Mother Goose Rhymes, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Where the Red Fern Grows, and Old Yeller.
Don't Forget To Join Wild West Wendy Jo on Social Media!
All in all, my family and I have really enjoyed this book and we know you will too! Please feel free to leave me any comments or questions about this review. I look forward to hearing from you!
* This book was kindly sent to me by Author, Wild West Wendy Jo in exchange for an honest review.