#OrisChristmas #BooksOnTour #BlogBlast #Day3

What is compromise, and how do young children learn to manage the challenge between satisfying themselves and others at the same time? Anne, too, pondered this aspect of maturing awareness, and so her loveable Ori’s Christmas was born… PLUS, there’s a chance to WIN in our fabulous #bookgiveway!

Learning to Compromise by Anne Helen Donnelly

“Let’s watch something on TV while we eat dinner,” I tell my two children after an exhausting day. “What are we going to watch?”

“The dragon show,” calls out my daughter enthusiastically.

“Star Wars,” yells out my son with equal vigour.

And here we go again. “Guys, can’t we compromise?” I ask.

– a middle way between two extremes.
– an accommodation in which both sides make concessions
(Thank you iPhone dictionary!)

And so, Ori’s Christmas was born.

Ori’s Christmas, following on from the first book in the Ori Octopus series (see interview), is aimed at 2 – 5 year olds. It has bright colourful pictures, simple text (which is also suitable for early readers), actions for child participation and it includes pull-out craft. In the story, Ori is very excited to be sharing Christmas with all his friends. But all his friends want to do something different on this special day so they must find a solution, a compromise, before they can enjoy the holiday together.

As I’m sure all parents do, I have experienced the difficulty in persuading children to compromise. Young children are self-centric. Up to the age of 5 or so, it’s all about them and their needs. You ask a pre-schooler who is the fastest in their class and they will all happily own that title. But, you ask a year three student who is the fastest in their class, and they will volunteer the fastest individual who always wins their races at the school carnival. As the years roll past, the child begins to acknowledge their community and others around them. They start to identify their own traits and those of others and recognise that everyone has needs and wants. However, consistently being able to compromise is still difficult for young children. It’s tough giving up what you want. Even for me and…well, I’m older, just a fraction past 21.

Ori’s Christmas demonstrates how a compromise can be the solution to a common problem experienced amongst friends. I want this but my friend wants another thing – is there a way we can both get what we want? Maybe if we change a little bit of what we want. One friend wants to play Lego and the other wants to go outside and skip. Perhaps the two friends can play Lego for a short time, and then go outside and skip for a while too. But, who’s activity do we do first? Well, last time your activity was first, so how about we do your sister’s activity first this time. Phew! After this negotiation, you’d be ready to lead the UN Peace keeping negotiations. But it’s worth it.

For younger children, making suggestions to them such as this, is a good way to introduce them to finding solutions through compromise. Picking your time is good if that is an option for you. These suggestions will be better received if the underlying circumstances are favourable. For example, if the children are already used to sharing, and are not overly tired or upset. But as a general rule, patient and gentle reinforcement of such behaviour will foster a culture of compromise. And of course, Ori’s Christmas will help!

We are all human and sometimes we can be forgiven for not following the golden standard of parenting. And so, at the end of some of those exhausting days when my children cannot decide what to watch my response might be “Well, since you can’t come to a compromise, I’ll make the executive decision. We’re watching what I want to watch. Something more grown-up, and one of my old favourites.” And I turn on the movie Up.

Anne lives in Sydney with her husband and her two young children.

She has taught dance, been an entertainer at children’s parties, and she reads and teaches art and craft to children. She paints children’s canvasses and makes greeting cards.

Anne has been encouraged to share her story-telling, her illustrations and her creativity resulting in her Ori the Octopus series. The first book Ori the Octopus is closely followed by Ori’s Christmas, both released in 2017.

Anne is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and the Australian Society of Authors (ASA). She attends seminars regularly to keep her up to date in all sorts of skills and areas such as writing, illustrating, the book industry and story telling with the Story Tellers Guild!

She hopes you enjoy her books, events and all the free activities on her website. Anne can also be found on Facebook.

Ori’s Christmas is available for purchase at the Just Kids’ Lit Shop here.

#OrisChristmas #friendship #picturebook #compromise

Ori’s Christmas Blog Blast Schedule

November 6 – 9



Thursday November 9 – Megan Higginson


Friday November 10 – Brook Tayla


Anne’s Book Tour Schedule in Sydney

It’s Time to Play! Ori’s Christmas #BookGiveaway!

Simply comment with your response to, “Name something Christmassy in the picture.”

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One thought to “Author Article by Anne Helen Donnelly: Learning to Compromise”

  • Debra Tidball

    Great article! I love that Ori is helpful on many levels 🙂


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