"We must rise up to meet hatred with love."
-- Coretta Scott King, January, 1987
If you fail to take in -- or to share -- the two-page spread that precedes
the title page for BULLY, then you will have missed a truly essential part
of this book.
In that two-page spread that precedes the title page, an older, larger
bull is making life miserable for a younger bull (GO AWAY!). That younger
bull will go on (after the title page) to be verbally hurtful to everyone who
crosses his path.
We humans are not born mean-spirited. When we meet someone who is acting
in such a manner, it is the result of that individual's circumstances.
This is why we want to have compassion for those who act mean-spirited and
This is not to say that we don't stand up against the behavior of those
who bully us, or who bully those around us. It is to say that we don't
match hate with hate.
Here, the smaller bull (literally) grows larger and larger in stature
(like a balloon being inflated for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade) as he
bullies a succession of animals, beginning with a trio who has actually
invited him to play. There is an element of humor to this, in that he is
calling a chicken "CHICKEN!", calling a pig "PIG!" and telling a bee to "BUZZ
When, in due course, the goat responds to the bullying by calling the bull
a "BULLY!", the bull deflates (again, very much like a giant balloon),
expresses remorse, and asks whether the animals want to play. There is a
happy and satisfying ending.
This is a book that could well change a young life through the recognition
that we need to stand firm against the behavior (bullying) but find
compassion for the misguided perpetrator of that behavior.
The textured paper upon which the entire book is created is really
36 pages 978-1-59643-630-5 Ages 5-9
Recommended by: Richie Partington, MLIS, Librarian, California USA
Richie's Picks _http://richiespicks.com_