Kidsday reporter Chris Smalley of RJO Intermediate School, Kings Park,...

Kidsday reporter Chris Smalley of RJO Intermediate School, Kings Park, and his dad, Christopher, author of "The Energy of Friends and Bullies." Credit: Smalley family

Do you know the feeling you get when you’re with a group of good of friends? How about the feeling you get when you are with a group of bullies? Those feelings are very different and are all captured in my dad’s book, “The Energy of Friends and Bullies,” by Christopher Smalley (CreateSpace Publishing).

It is a picture book with lots of emotions. The pages are filled with colors that describe the emotions. For example, yellow stands for big, happy energy, and black stands for small, negative energy.

I asked him why he decided to write this book. He said he has been living the life of a writer since he was 12. He enjoys writing in his home. A common theme in his notebooks has always been how people interact with each other. He wanted to write an easy-to-understand book about how friends and bullies make people feel. Then I asked him if it was hard to think of the ideas. He said it wasn’t hard, but it took a long time to get the right words; it took about two years.

My cousin, Alexandria, is the illustrator of his book. I wondered why she did the illustrations and not my dad. He said, “My illustrator is a much better artist than I am, and she had much better ideas.” I asked him why he put all these emotions in the book, and his response was that the book has a lot to do with feelings.

I asked him what makes you most proud of the book and, after some thought, he said, “It’s fun to be part of something that starts with an idea.” He is so happy with the way the book turned out.

I am so glad that my dad wrote this book and self-published it! It makes me feel good when everyone points it out and the teachers read it to the class. I love that my dad can share his book with the whole world!

If you would like to purchase this book, go to and get it. I promise you will love it as much as my class and I do.

Cynthia Howe and Stefanie Murphy’s fourth-grade class, RJO Intermediate School, Kings Park

Newsday LogoCovering LI news as it happensDigital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months