Tag Archives: bullies

Bluebird

6 Jun

15799165Bluebird illustrated by Bob Staake (2013)

A lonely boy goes through life being teased and bullied. The bluebird befriends him and just when the boy starts to feel happiness he encounters fear and sadness in the park. The bluebird, in an effort to distract the bullies, becomes injured – maybe even dying. The boy is overcome with guilt and heartbreak. Suddenly another bird appears, then another, and another. The redbird, and the yellow bird, and the green bird, and the other colored birds come and take the boy holding the bluebird into the sky. Above the city and above the clouds, the bluebird is rejuvenated and flies away in the heavens.

Bob Staake tells this story and more without a single word. His masterful artwork speaks to the reader with descriptive scenes, actions, and most importantly feelings. The colors you see on the front cover are the only colors in the whole book until the end when birds of different colors come to lift the boy and bluebird into the sky.

There is something about this book that tugs at your heart and soul. It begs to be read over and over. I can look at any spread and immediately be drawn into the story. I actually felt myself draw inward when the boy was being teased, and sigh with relief when he made friends with the children at the park, and tense when the bullies came out of the shadows, and rise when the birds carried the boy in the sky. In its quietude, it is a private story to be felt more than read, and Bob Staake was a genius not to let words interfere with the story.

Llama Llama and the Bully Goat

7 Oct

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Llama llama and the Bully Goat written and illustrated by Anna Dewdney (2013)

As promised… last week when I met Anna Dewdney at a book signing event in Cincinnati, I promised to review this book. Here it is.

Sorry it took me a little longer than expected to write this review, but I do have a good excuse.  It was my grand daughter’s third birthday this weekend.  On the bright side though, I do have her reaction to this book as well as my own review!

Llama Llama and the Bully Goat is a wonderfully written picture book for the preschool crowd addressing the issue of bullies in a realistic yet sweet way.  Llama and his friends at school run into problems with billy goat who laughs at others, says ‘not-nice words’, and is mean on the playground.  Llama tells the teacher and she has a talk with the class during circle time.  By the end of the story the billy goat is singing with the rest of the class and everyone goes home happy.

I liked that even though the billy goat was a bully goat, Anna Dewdney presented him as a character with flaws who is still likable.  It’s so important that young children realize the difference between bad behavior and a bad person.  She also presented a solution that little ones can implement in their own dealings with bullies or friends who can be mean sometimes.

Little Juliana listened to this book so seriously!   She repeated after me and asked ‘why’ on every page.  She’s still at the why stage, so we had lots to talk about.  She was so happy that the billy goat was nice and that llama and the billy goat were friends at the end of the book.

“Read it again!” … highest praise for an author!

So, from me and my grand daughter… two thumbs up!

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