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Children's Fiction Friendship

Tayra's Not Talking

by (author) Lana Button

illustrated by Christine Battuz

Kids Can Press
Initial publish date
Jun 2022
Friendship, Emotions & Feelings, New Experience
Recommended Age
3 to 7
Recommended Grade
p to 2
Recommended Reading age
3 to 7
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Jun 2022
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


There's a new kid in the kindergarten class, but she won't say a word! But ... does it really matter? This sweet story has a timely message: there are many ways to make --- and be --- a friend!

The students in Miss Seabrooke's kindergarten class don't understand why the new student won't respond when they talk to her. Speaking LOUDER doesn't help. Tayra doesn't even answer the teacher! Should they just leave her be? Maybe, Kitty decides, she can show Tayra things instead of telling her. Happily, it works! Soon the pair find they can communicate with gestures, dancing, drawings and smiles. And when the others see how much fun they're having, they join in, too! It seems words aren't the only way to connect and be friends!

In this charming picture book, Lana Button uses playful, cadenced rhyming text to explore the art of making a friend. This story sensitively captures a kindergartener's fears and uncertainties, especially around being new and “different” and models compassion, acceptance and friendship as a reassuring way for others to respond. Christine Battuz's expressive illustrations clearly convey the friends' emotions as they process this new experience and try to decide what to do about it. This book is a perfect springboard for discussions about feelings, friendship, differences and belonging. It's a strong choice for character education lessons on kindness, empathy, inclusiveness and caring.

About the authors

LANA BUTTON a grandi dans la petite ville frontalière de St. Stephen, au Nouveau-Brunswick. Elle a une formation d’actrice et d’éducatrice de la petite enfance. Ses albums illustrés ont été en nomination pour plusieurs récompenses, dont les prix Blue Spruce, Shining Willow, le Jean Throop IODE Award et le Rainforest of Reading. Elle est bénévole pour les organisations littéraires IBBY Canada, First Book et One World Schoolhouse. Lana et son mari ont trois filles adultes et vivent à Burlington, en Ontario.


LANA BUTTON grew up in the tiny border town of St. Stephen, New Brunswick. She has a background in acting and early childhood education. She writes for young children, and her picture books have been shortlisted for numerous awards. She enjoys reading books out loud whenever she gets the chance.

Lana Button's profile page


CHRISTINE BATTUZ est née en France et a obtenu une maîtrise de l’Académie des beaux-arts de Pérouse, en Italie. Elle a illustré plus de soixante livres jeunesse et a enseigné l’art aux enfants de tous âges. Elle vit à Bromont, au Québec.


CHRISTINE BATTUZ was born in France and received her Masters of Fine Arts at the Academy of Fine Arts of Perugia in Italy. She has illustrated over sixty books for children, and has taught art to children of all ages. She lives in Bromont, Quebec.


Christine Battuz's profile page

Editorial Reviews

This charming story is an excellent addition ... that focuses on social-emotional learning.—School Library Journal, starred review

... a beautifully illustrated empathetic story about inclusion for primary-age children who may have or will encounter instances of nonverbal communication.—CM Magazine

A playful approach to a serious topic, this is a great choice for young readers to explore what it means to be a bully and the reflect on the power of forgiveness.—School Library Journal (Praise for What if Bunny's NOT a Bully?)

Sweet without being sententious.

Kirkus Reviews

Sweet without being sententious.—Kirkus Reviews

... the message of giving friends a second chance is well expressed, and teachers will find a useful opportunity in identifying for children who the real victim of bullying is in this story.—Booklist (Praise for What if Bunny's NOT a Bully?)

Other titles by Lana Button

Other titles by Christine Battuz