Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Bully by Laura Vaccaro Seeger

Bully by Laura Vaccaro Seeger

Rating: 5 stars

This book hit home for me on the first page.  But I'll get back to that.

This is a simple book with a strong message--one that should be read to preschool and elementary schools a whole heck of a lot.  Three animals innocently ask one young bull, "Wanna play?"

He answers with a mean, "NO!"  So mean that the rabbit hops backwards, the chicken's eyes widen, and the turtle hides.  On each of the next few pages, he insults each of them.  "CHICKEN!" he yells at Chicken.  "SLOW POKE!" he yells at Turtle. "PIG!" he yells at Pig.

In each consecutive picture, Bully gets bigger and bigger and BIGGER.  The other animals get smaller, smaller, and smaller.  Finally, a fearless goat stands up to the enormous bully.  "BUTT OUT!" the goat yells up to him.  "BULLY!"

The words hit him hard, and he is immediately sorry.  He is transformed back into a normal-sized bull, back to where the three animals had asked him to play.  He squeaks out, with more than a bit of humility, "Wanna play?"

As there's not much of a delay with forgiveness in childhood, they say, "Okay!" and walk off together.

It's a good book; I don't need to point out the reason why.

Oh?  The first page?  It shows the root of the problem, where this little bull gets his training:

Parenting.  For better or for worse, it all starts with parenting.  So let us be good to our kids.  Let's set a good example.  We don't need to be perfect; let's let kind words be the majority of what comes out of our mouths.

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