Bully

Bully

by Judith Caseley
     
 

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"You used to be a mouse," said Mickey to his ex-friend Jack. "And now you've turned into a great big rat."

Maybe Jack wasn't a rat, but he certainly was a bully. And he made life very uncomfortable for Mickey.

Mickey's parents had some helpful ideas, but Mickey found that it was easier to talk about loving your enemies than actually to do it, and brave words

Overview

"You used to be a mouse," said Mickey to his ex-friend Jack. "And now you've turned into a great big rat."

Maybe Jack wasn't a rat, but he certainly was a bully. And he made life very uncomfortable for Mickey.

Mickey's parents had some helpful ideas, but Mickey found that it was easier to talk about loving your enemies than actually to do it, and brave words were often just words.

But then something happened that surprised Mickey as much as Jack. And the unexpected result was that the ex-bully was once more a friend, and Mickey had good reason to be proud of his problem-solving technique.

Editorial Reviews

In this engaging story a young boy who wants to learn how to handle a bully gets different advice from a variety of people without results. He finally discovers that he can handle the bully best by being friendly and using humor. This story is one that many children can identify with and it gives several different options for resolving the situation. The illustrations are colorful and add even more humor to the story. 2001, Greenwillow Books, $15.95. Ages 3 to 8. Reviewer: S. Latson SOURCE: Parent Council, September 2001 (Vol. 9, No. 1)
Children's Literature
Mickey and Jack used to be best friends. Then something happens. It becomes a war of words between the two former friends. Jack starts calling Mickey names, then stealing his lunch and threatening him if he tells. Jack takes things from Mickey's desk and Mickey begins to feel helpless. He decides to talk to his dad. Dad suggests using brave words the next time that Jack is unkind, such as, "I don't like that." "Stop! You're hurting me." Mickey practices his brave words. His mom tries to explain possible reasons for Jack's hurtful behavior. Reader's discover Jack's mom has recently had a new baby. Mickey's mom suggests that he "love thy enemy." Jack soon finds out that it is hard to love your enemy when Mickey takes his baseball and throws it around the bus. After many attempts at healing the relationship between the two, it is finally the use of humor that becomes the key. In today's culture, bullying has become a serious problem. The book addresses the issue with sympathy and empathy, stressing the fact that the victim should tell an adult. Young and older readers alike will relate to the problem and find this story practical without preaching. Useful in the classroom, Sunday Schools and even in the home. 2001, Greenwillow Books, $15.95 and $15.89. Ages 4 up. Reviewer: Sue Reichard
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3-Children familiar with Caseley's Field Day Friday (2000) and Mickey's Class Play (1998, both Greenwillow) will recognize the characters in this picture book. One afternoon, Mickey berates Jack for deliberately stepping on his foot. A few days later, readers discover that Jack has begun to harass his friend, stealing part of his lunch, breaking his pencil, and tripping him. Mickey's parents and sister suggest ways to understand or rectify the situation (use "brave" words because bullies are cowards; try to be nice because Jack must be feeling unhappy). At last, the boy is able to bring about a truce with some spontaneously offered cookies and a few kind words. The bully in this story is feeling neglected and out of sorts because of a new sibling at home. The friendship is resurrected, and though Jack does not apologize, readers will understand that his turnaround means that he, too, was unhappy about his behavior. Children who are the victims of true meanness from a classmate may find that Mickey's problem is rather easily resolved. Caseley's lighthearted, colorful, and detailed drawings, rendered in watercolor, colored pencil, and black pen, give an appealing portrayal of Mickey's school and home life, and are the book's strongest point.-Kathie Meizner, Montgomery County Public Libraries, Chevy Chase, MD Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Returning to the characters from Field Day Friday (2000), Caseley offers some sensible advice about handling a bully. Mickey and Jack used to be friends, but Jack has taken to bullying of late. He crunches Mickey's fingers on the jungle gym and says, "Ask me if I care." He grabs Mickey's cookies at lunch and then laughs in his face. Mickey's father counsels him to stand tall and use brave words like "I don't like that!" But Jack is a shade too big and more than a shade too belligerent for that tack. His mother suggests that Mickey try being nice to Jack, calling to Mickey's attention that Jack's mother just had a baby. "When you were born, your sister didn't like it. She wheeled you down the street and tried to give you to a neighbor." That helps Mickey put some perspective on the situation and though Jack continues his wanton attacks, Mickey tries some kindness. It does the trick, that and coming to Jack's side when others tease him over his new set of braces. More often than not bullies are way too menacing to pull the confrontational tactics recommended by Mickey's father, so ladling on the kindness is a better idea. Perhaps best of all is the simple notion of talking with your parents about the problem, halving the trouble right there. Caseley's flat, vaguely primitive art seems simple at first, but it is filled with the details of ordinary life at home and school and lends just the right air of authenticity to the story. (Picture book. 4-7)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780688178680
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
03/20/2001
Edition description:
Library Edition
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
8.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.25(d)
Age Range:
10 Years

Meet the Author

Judith Caseley says, "When I was a little girl, I fell in love with Abraham Lincoln. I was drawn to the kindness and melancholy I saw in his face. My sister Jean and I prayed to a framed portrait of him that hung on our bedroom wall. To this day, when I see Lincoln's likeness on the wall of a school auditorium, my heart lifts with gladness or my eyes fill with tears. I remember the fierce secrets we told him, the joys and sorrows that were for his ears only. It was a private act of communion, and we called him A. L."

Judith Caseley is the author-artist of such favorite picture books as On the Town: A Community Adventure; Bully; Mama, Coming and Going; and Dear Annie. She lives on Long Island, New York, with her two children.

Judith Caseley says, "When I was a little girl, I fell in love with Abraham Lincoln. I was drawn to the kindness and melancholy I saw in his face. My sister Jean and I prayed to a framed portrait of him that hung on our bedroom wall. To this day, when I see Lincoln's likeness on the wall of a school auditorium, my heart lifts with gladness or my eyes fill with tears. I remember the fierce secrets we told him, the joys and sorrows that were for his ears only. It was a private act of communion, and we called him A. L."

Judith Caseley is the author-artist of such favorite picture books as On the Town: A Community Adventure; Bully; Mama, Coming and Going; and Dear Annie. She lives on Long Island, New York, with her two children.

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