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- The bullies: understanding bullies and bullying

By Dennis Lines (Jessica Kingsley, £16.99, ISBN 1843105780)

Reviewed by Jennie Lindon, chartered psychologist and early years specialist

This book offers different perspectives on behaviour described as bullying. The author explores a wide range of actions that distress children's peers and offers ideas about the origins of this behaviour. He views bullying as something that children do, and not as a statement about their personal characteristics. The book focuses on understanding and interpreting the behaviour as the best approach to taking the impact of bullying seriously.

Dennis Lines draws on his experience in secondary schools, often in a counselling role. He is writing mainly about adolescents, but this book definitely provides food for thought for readers working with a younger age group. His key point is that bullying is a problem of relationships and therefore needs solutions based on relationships. The book avoids unhelpful labelling of individuals as 'bullies' and 'victims' and explores the dynamics of how children move in and out of either role.

- Action Songs and Rhymes

By Melanie Roan and Piers Partridge (Featherstone, £19.99, ISBN 9781906029517)

This lively and colourful book is packed with songs and rhymes for children to repeat, sing, dance to or participate with actions. It includes a music CD so that even the most reluctant musician can use the resource, and there are tips on how to use the songs and rhymes with children in your setting.

- How to Observe Children (second edition)

By Sheila Riddall-Leech (Heinemann, £15.99, ISBN 978 0 435987 66 4)

This is a practical textbook that has been revised and updated to support practitioners in observing children in the Early Years Foundation Stage. There are also references to early years frameworks in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The book examines why observing children is so important and offers different models of observation, as well as the various pros and cons of the techniques. It contains good practice points to consider for reflective practice and also case studies and examples of observations.

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