Tag Archives: bullies

You Are (Not) Small













You Are (Not) Small
by Anna Kang, illustrated by Christopher Weyant
Two Lions, 2014
Theodor Seuss Geisel Award Winner

It’s a concept book, a bully book, and a laugh-out-loud funny book all rolled into one.  It’s a book for every toddler’s library.

A big bear tells a small bear that he is small, insinuating that being small is a bad thing.  But the small bear tells the big bear, “I am not small.  You are big!”  The two argue to the extreme about who is what until a huge foot stomps between them and a tiny bear floats down.  They learn another is smaller and another is bigger and decide it really doesn’t matter and walk away.  Until the tiny bear makes an observation about the huge one.

It’s easy to see why this book won the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award!

Read more reviews and purchase on Amazon.


My Heart is Laughing

myheartlaughingMy Heart is Laughing
by Rose Lagercrantz, illustrated by Eva Ericksson
Gecko Press, 2014
Translated from Sweden

My Heart is Laughing is an early chapter book that gives the heart something to explore and discover.

We meet Dani, are introduced to the characters in her class, and learn the seat next to hers is saved for when her best friend, Ella, who moved away, returns.  Everyone tells her Ella will not return, but Dani believes it could happen.  On the surface, this story is about two girls who dream of the same boy and become jealous—and mean—when the boy pays attention to Dani.  When the teacher sits Dani between the two girls, they start pinching her, hard.  They get in a food fight until Dani accidentally squirts the teacher.

Dani’s father is called in and doesn’t understand why Dani would squirt the teacher; it is not like her.  He tries to talk to Dani, but Dani is afraid.  Finally she shows her dad the bruises from the pinches.  He marches into the classroom and questions the two girls.  Dani is asked to show her bruises and the class hushes.  The two girls refuse to apologize.  A visitor interrupts the incident—and it’s Ella!  Miracle upon miracle she shows up for the day, just like Dani knew she might.  Learn how Dani takes care of the situation and how Dani and Ella enjoy their one day together.

On the surface, this delightfully written, heartwarming story tells of how Dani deals with bullies, but underneath it’s about a girl who has faith that she will see her friend again.  A story that will be read again and again.

I loved this book so much, I looked up My Happy Life, the first book of this series, and loved it equally.  As The New York Times Book Review says:  “If only all early chapter books were this beautifully conceived.”

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By Jill Esbaum, Illustrated by Jack E. Davis
Harcourt Children’s Books, 2009

Stanza is a great book that shows how street bullies learn to shed their “tough skins” and accept recognition for their “sensitive” talents.  Written in rhyme, it’s a fun, well-developed story.  Creativity and life—expressed in both words and illustrations—jump from each page.  Stanza is a pleasure to read.

Stanza, the youngest of three boys, makes himself out to be a bully to earn the recognition of this two older brothers, but at night his sensitive side wins out and he writes poems—in secret.  He knows full well, that if his brother ever found out, it would be the end of him.

One day Snapper Foods announces a jingle-writing contest and Stanza enters.  In secret, he waits for the results.  He only wins second place—but now his brothers know his secret.  Like he knew they would, his brother ridicule and torture him unmercifully—until…  Snapper Foods delivers a year’s supply of Chicken Pot Pie flavored Snappers.  Immediately the brothers respect their “genius”, “rhyming magician” brother.  Stanza agrees to share the winnings on one condition. The result is the brothers share their artistic and musical talents at a neighborhood show.

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