About the Gubyllub

Rose may have been a smaller size, but there was wisdom in those eyes! With tenderness she turned and said, “I see those Bullybugs have spread!”.

The Gubyllub follows the story of a young girl named Rose, who witnesses bullying behaviour at school. Recognising the behaviour, she recounts her experience of once having ‘The Bullybug’, the bug responsible for taking kindness away from children, and reveals her journey to find the cure.

The Gubyllub gently navigates the serious topic of bullying though a lighthearted but meaningful lens designed to capture children’s imaginations and encourage a consciousness of kindness.

Hi, I am Lisa Hamilton-Gibbs. I am the author of The Gubyllub, mother of two spirited children and two adorable fur babies. I have always wanted to make a difference in the world by spreading and encouraging kindness towards ourselves and others.

I am excited to share a bit more about The Gubyllub with you on this page.

The back story...

The concept for ‘The Gubyllub’ grew during a Covid lockdown in Auckland, New Zealand. Maybe it was the way a virus operates that planted the seed of creativity but I loved the idea that a little bug could be held responsible for bullying behaviour! The book was initially going to be called 'The Bullybug' but as I continued to write, this little character 'The Gubyllub' revealed itself. The Gubyllub is the antithesis of the Bullybug in terms of its character but it is actually the same bug. In fact it is Bullybug spelt backwards!

Often when we use the term ‘bully’ we label the person as the problem rather than the behaviour. I was inspired by the idea that the Bullybug and the Gubyllub could be the same creature and the transformation from one to the other could show that we can change, based on our behaviour. I also hoped to provide children with a different lens through which they could view the issue of bullying.

In most of the books I have seen where the topic of bullying is tackled, they focus more on the person and not their behaviour. I think this is an important distinction.

I am sure that in many cases those so called 'bullies' are suffering inside. I hope that using these little bugs might provide them with a certain freedom to change their behaviour or at the very least observe it and recognise that there is another way to behave.

The journey...

The writing of the Gubyllub has truly been a journey for me and a very collaborative one. In addition to working with a fantastic editor I read the book to children, teachers, friends, and I spoke with a child and family psychologist. Over the one and a half years of writing, this final version has been refined, tweaked, distilled and shaped multiple times to ensure that the message has been considered from all perspectives.

Feeback along the way...

When I first wrote the book I did a reading at my son's school. One of the teachers took the initiative to ask for some feedback from the children. I was completely blown away by the responses.

One child wrote ‘I felt like a weight has been taken off my shoulders’. I am not sure if this was a child that was on the receiving end of bullying behaviour or not but either way, I knew my message was getting through. Using the bug as a metaphor for behaviour was working!

Inspiration from Aotearoa..

When I was about 8 years of age my wonderful stepfather Mike introduced me to Langs beach.

Every time I left the hustle and bustle of Auckland and after 1.5 hours of driving, I would come around the bend into Langs beach and then onto Ding Bay and be presented with the majestic ‘Sail Rock’'.

Some 20 years later we were lucky enough to purchase our own holiday home with a couple of best mates in Mangawhai and we look straight out at Sail rock.

When I came up with the idea for a place that the Bullybug could be marooned, this isolated rock with nowhere to set foot seemed like the perfect spot!