Wipe the Slate Clean

The Story of Nester the Pester

Children - Picture Book
Kindle Edition
Reviewed on 04/06/2021
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite

Nester the Pester is a bully. He steals from others, makes fun of them, and pushes them around. Even in class, Nester can’t settle down and pay attention; he’s always causing mischief. One day, his teacher reads a story about a bully. Nester tries not to listen, but somehow the story gets through. Nester is suddenly very sad. Is he really as bad as the bully in the story? Can he change? He does some deep soul-searching that night and asks for God’s forgiveness and help. But change is not so easy, especially in the schoolyard where most of the children are still afraid of the mean bully, Nester. His teacher comes to the rescue and everyone learns the power of forgiveness and that everyone deserves another chance.

Lauretha Ward’s picture book story, Wipe the Slate Clean: The Story of Nester the Pester, takes a different approach to discuss the very difficult issue of bullying. In this story, the main character is actually the bully. Told in rhyming verse and accompanied by colorful illustrations, the plot follows Nester's evolution from the mean bully, the resistant student, to the boy who wants to be forgiven, to be given a second chance. The author uses the metaphor of a clean slate to explain the need to forgive and to give others a second chance. The book concludes with a list of definitions for some of the more complicated words and some questions to lead students in a discussion on bullying and forgiveness. There is also a link provided to the author’s website where young people can find extra activities, coloring pages, and a literacy lesson plan. This book is a great resource as well as a powerful story about forgiveness.

Shrabastee Chakraborty

Wipe the Slate Clean: The Story of Nester the Pester is a picture book written by Lauretha Ward, with accompanying illustrations by Pardeep Mehra. Nester the Pester harasses his classmates daily. He is also disobedient and inattentive in class. One day, their teacher tells them a story about a tyrant boy who realized how unkind he had been to his friend. Nobody imagined that a simple story like this could bring about such a profound change in Nester. Realizing how unpleasant his behavior is, Nester decides to rectify his faults and strives to be a true friend. Will the teachers and the other children accept his apologies? Will they even trust him enough to give him a second chance?

Schoolground bullying, being a worrisome issue, has claimed a prominent place in children’s literature. What makes Ward’s book different is that it is written from the tyrant’s point of view. She has accurately portrayed the insecurity and the sense of isolation a shunned person like Nester must feel. His remorse, guilt, and craving for acceptance bring him back to the right path. Thus, along with a strong anti-bullying theme, this book also demonstrates that people are capable of change and are deserving of second chances. Mehra’s masterful illustrations that include characters from different ethnicities bring out their expressions vividly. The use of rhyming sentences makes the reading experience fun. I would recommend Wipe the Slate Clean to children aged 5 to 10 years. The inclusion of a glossary and analytical questions will prompt children to learn new words and formulate concepts.

Bruce Arrington

Wipe the Slate Clean: The Story of Nester the Pester by Lauretha Ward is a 36-page-long children’s picture book about bullying. It is set in a rhyming format. The book has a discussion and definitions section at the end, creating avenues for adults and/or teachers to talk about this important topic. We meet Nester who, for whatever reason, treats the other kids in his class with cruelty. Later that day the teacher reads a parallel type of story, in which the bully had to live with long-term consequences as a result of his behavior. Nester gets the point, softens his heart, and wants to be a better person. But he has to own up to his mistakes and ask for forgiveness.

This is a good story that goes well beyond the lesson of “don’t bully others”. It brings home real consequences by showing that a bully lost a potential friend forever. Even bullies want to have friends, as this book points out. But it also shows that there needs to be a real heart change for things to move in a different direction. After Nester does some soul searching, he takes the needed steps to turn around and really start making friends. The colorful artwork coupled together with the rhymes of the story bring about an excellent lesson, one which many young children need to learn. Wipe the Slate Clean: The Story of Nester the Pester by Lauretha Ward is an excellent teaching tool for children challenged by bullying. Highly recommended.

Tabitha Liburd, Attorney & Conflict Mana

This wonderful book will be a powerful tool in the hands of teachers and parents alike, giving a voice to children who are being bullied, and helping those who bully understand how their actions affect others. 'Wipe the Slate Clean: The Story of Nester the Pester' should have a place on bookshelves in every schoolroom and Sunday school class, where I hope it would become required reading!

Jennifer

This is a beautifully written rhyme that starts off with a bully. The bully is a kid called Nester. As the story unfolds, Nester realizes that he wants to be kinder. He talks to God and changes his ways. The illustrations are captivating and I love the extra “kindness” resources that the author provides.

Rowdy and Princess

What a cute and uplifting lesson for children. I especially love the lesson plan on the back that allows the parent or teacher to go through what happened and why Nester was wrong. Bullying is such a painful experience it’s nice to see tools like this beautiful book to deal with it.

Jasmine

This lesson is needed for adults and children. The book is a great resource for children who may not be able to understand their feelings but express them in unconventional ways. This book is illustrated well and teaches children that even though someone’s behavior is not the greatest at first, they can change and wipe the slate clean! The perfect story to explain bullying and why it isn’t okay!

Susan Rose

This is an adorable book, with an important message for kids, that they can choose to change their behavior. The school setting in the illustrations is just beautiful, and the book features a wide variety of multi-cultural children. Really loved it!

Amanda Turner

This book teaches young children about God’s love and forgiveness. The book is great with tackling the subject of bullying and making friends. It is beautifully illustrated with vibrant colors. Your child is sure to enjoy this inspirational book.

SAS

This story is very well written and the illustrations are so wonderful. Author Lauretha did a stellar job describing real life scenarios of what can happen when a child is cruel and how feelings can impact the choices we make. As a parent I am a huge advocate of acceptance and kindness and this story is such a beautiful read for children to inspire to do better when you know better. Highly recommend!

Rebecca

Beautifully written and illustrated book about how to treat others. Nester the pester is the class “pester” who does not treat others with respect and kindness. He learns from hearing his teacher reading a book that his actions are causing others to hurt. He wants to change his ways, and kind to the other kids but learns it takes more than an apology to be forgiven, it takes action.
I love that at the end there is a question page for you to ask your child questions about what they just read.
Great Book

LANCOB42

Beautiful rhyme and illustrations! The story of Nester the Pester is a good reminder that no child is inherently bad. It's important to remember that everyone is capable of changing their ways. For Nester, it took a story about a bully who acted just like him to realize he needed to change before it reached a point where he could no longer ask for forgiveness (or change his ways). This story is a great message to all of us about forgiving others, and gives warning signs of what childhood bullying looks like.

Mikaela

Such a wonderful story about learning from your past mistakes and forgiveness. It is a fun book to read with catchy rhymes and beautiful illustrations. I would definitely recommend it to all school-age kids!

Katie H.

This well-written rhyming children's book focuses on bullying and self-awareness to change and become better. The author introduces a wide range of vocabulary for children to learn and even includes a glossary in the back for full understanding. We enjoyed the message of forgiveness and understanding how our actions can affect others. Would recommend it as a great book to help children identify good and bad behavior and how we can help others change for the better.

CeLula Brown

I enjoyed the book. The illustrations were well done. The emphasis was on how we treat others. It's a must-read as it's impactful for those who are bullies or for the individual who is being bullied. Each needs to know how to handle themselves socially. . This book was relevant to the times and the effects that bullying has caused pain over many generations. It was well written, a lesson was learned, and the goodies at the end of the book are great.

Dani

This book is a great tool for the anti-bullying campaign. Children of all ages can relate to this book and learn important life lessons as they turn the pages. Well done!

Brandon Moss

I loved the story and how clever it was to have Nester learn how to be kind and change from a story read by the teacher. Such great illustrations as well!

Taryn A

The storyline was unique in that we see a recovering bully facing his own doubts about mending fractured friendships. It shows the hard truth about people remembering how a bully makes them feel even when the "sorry" has been said. But, it also shows the truth about the healing that grace and forgiveness bring. Illustrations are beautifully done.

Musicgmw

This book is uplifting and encouraging for young children who have experienced being bullied. It also promotes redeeming qualities and characteristics for those who have perpetuated bullying. It's a great tool for parents, teachers, and educators to use as a reference in their curriculum. You can further engage with the children after reading the book with activity pages, a literacy lesson plan, and other resources. Highly recommended.

Jenna Comfort

I truly enjoyed this book because it had some great life lessons in it. For Nester, being able to see he was being a bully to those around him was difficult to accept. Making changes to his thoughts and actions when he wasn't sure if he'd be forgiven by those he'd hurt in the past was even harder.

Wipe the Slate Clean is a well-illustrated book with a great message about turning one's life around with the power of prayer, forgiveness of friends, and dedication to doing what is right.

Sonia

I love how the main character learns how his words and actions affect others as well as how his classmates learn to forgive!

Mel J

A lovely book with an important lesson on how to treat others. Great for home or in a classroom.

KatPet

This book is really unique in approaching the topic of bullying from the perspective of the one doing the bullying. It helps to teach kids about how to treat others which is such an important topic. Great for fostering meaningful conversations with kids.