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Don't Laugh at Me
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Don't Laugh at Me

4.3 10
by Steve Seskin, Allen Shamblin (Joint Author), Peter Yarrow (Afterword), Glin Dibley (Illustrator)

Do you wear glasses? Ever been picked last for the team? Afraid you’ll be called on in class?

Don’t laugh at me. Don’t call me names.

Have you laughed at someone else for the same reasons? Someone you thought was geeky or slow—someone different from you.

Don’t get your pleasure from my pain.

For anyone


Do you wear glasses? Ever been picked last for the team? Afraid you’ll be called on in class?

Don’t laugh at me. Don’t call me names.

Have you laughed at someone else for the same reasons? Someone you thought was geeky or slow—someone different from you.

Don’t get your pleasure from my pain.

For anyone who’s ever been bullied—or been a bully themselves—it’s time to change your tune. This is not a book for whiners, but a new language that will give you the words you need to take charge and stop the cycle of teasing.

Filled with inspiration and celebration, Don’t Laugh at Me is the anthem for a new bully-free world. Read it, sing it, and cheer!

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated to the Operation Respect “Don’t Laugh at Me” Project.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Songwriters Seskin and Shamblin audably sound a call for tolerance." —Publishers Weekly"This is the best children's book on bullying I've seen." —Barbara Coloroso, best-selling author of The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander "Important anti-bullying message . . . engaging in-your-face illustrations that bring to life the 'voices' of the bullied." —Buffalo News "[Driving home its message] with a slam dunk." —School Library Journal "High additional" rating, recommended forlibrary collections. —BayViews Assocation of Children's Librarians   Visit Operation Respect to learn about the organization behind Tricycle's best-selling book, Don't Laugh at Me.
Publishers Weekly
Songwriters Seskin and Shamblin laudably sound a call for tolerance in this picture-book adaptation of a heartfelt tune that inspired, and has become the anthem for, a rapidly expanding educational program within an organization called Operation Respect (founded by Yarrow, of Peter, Paul & Mary). The text/lyrics focus on the ridicule suffered by a boy with glasses, a girl who wears braces and a wheelchair-bound child, among others, ultimately uniting the voices of the bullied in the verse "Don't laugh at me./ Don't call me names./ Don't get your pleasure from my pain./ In God's eyes we're all the same." Though the book's worthy message will likely strike a universal chord, young readers may be confused by the overly figurative sentiment "I'm fat, I'm thin,/ I'm short, I'm tall,/ I'm deaf, I'm blind./ Hey, aren't we all?" In earth-toned mixed-media artwork that blends watercolor, acrylics, wallpaper and other materials, Dibley (Tub Boo Boo) exaggerates the distinguishing features of his stylized characters, further bringing home the book's theme. His compositions use muted colors and crowd scenes to set off the ostracized subject; the boy "chosen last" on the playground becomes a shadowy outline under a basketball hoop as smiling kids crowd the foreground; a kid "slower than the others in my class" peers out of a sea of raised hands. A CD recording of the country-flavored song is included. Ages 6-12. (Oct.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
Gr 3-5-Starting as a song encouraging kindness to others, the tune has now become the anthem of the "Don't Laugh at Me Program" founded by Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul & Mary. However, what works beautifully in a song is quite different in a book and should be shared with care. It is easy to discuss not laughing at difference if the differences aren't in your classroom. It is easier to sing about being fat, thin, short, etc., but breezing through this book without discussion would be foolish and the discussion could be volatile. Dibley's mixed-media artwork exaggerates the features of a boy with glasses and big ears; a girl with braces complete with headgear and a wisp of a body; a dark, slouching figure with no face "who's always chosen last"; a pencil chewing, chapped-lipped, uneven-eyed slow kid; a street beggar no one sees; and a kid in a wheelchair with a crash helmet. The last two lines-"I'm fat, I'm thin, I'm short, I'm tall,/I'm deaf, I'm blind. Hey, aren't we all?"-drive home the message with a slam dunk. The words "Help stop bullying-buy this book & CD of the song!" appear on the cover. If only it were so easy.-Jody McCoy, The Bush School, Seattle, WA Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
An admirable message but this is as didactic as it gets. The over-sized faces of the children and their wide-eyed expressions seem to emphasize the impact teasing has on a child’s emotions. Clearly from the title, one realizes that the message is meant to combat teasing and bullying through the use of literature and a rendition of the country music hit used by Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul, and Mary fame) as the basis for his anti-bullying foundation of the same name. The CD, with the song written and recorded by authors and songwriters Steve Seskin and Allen Shamblin, is included. The song was written specifically to aid all children to live in a kinder, safer, and more supportive environment; now the song lyrics have become the text for this rendering. All types of reasons are the subject for teasing: having braces or glasses, being chosen last, being "slower" than others in the class. The beggar on the street and those who are "different" all are subjected to stares and laughing. In his afterword, Yarrow points to the many schools and organizations that have joined Operation Respect: "Don’t Laugh at Me." This effort is, as Yarrow states, "part of spreading the message." Terribly didactic—but not all that offensive in its obviousness. Libraries will need to have the book and CD available for patrons who want to support this program. (Picture book. 4-9)

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
11.16(w) x 8.54(h) x 0.35(d)
Age Range:
3 - 7 Years

Read an Excerpt

I’m a little boy with glasses,
the one they call a geek.

A little girl who never smiles
’cause I’ve got braces on my teeth.

And I know how it feels to cry myself to sleep.

I’m that kid on every playground who’s always chosen last.

I’m the one who’s slower than the others in my class.

You don’t have to be my friend,
but is it too much to ask?

Don’t laugh at me.

Meet the Author

Steve Seskin, born and raised in New York City, moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1972 where he began and continues a career as a singer/songwriter. He lives in the East Bay with his wife, Ellen, and their son, David.

Allen Shamblin was born in Tennessee and raised in Huffman, Texas. In 1987, he moved to Nashville to pursue his songwriting career. He lives just outside the city with his wife, Lori, and their three children, Ashli, Caleb, and Lindsey.

Frequent collaborators, Steve and Allen have written over 50 songs together but this is their first children’s book. Their children provided much of the inspiration for “Don’t Laugh at Me,” which they hope can help make the world a kinder, safer, and more supportive place for all kids. Enjoy!

Glin Dibley wanted to be a professional basketball player. Glin is too short to play professional basketball. Glin now paints pictures for a living. This is his second children’s book; Tub Boo Boo was his first.

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Don't Laugh at Me 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I heard this in song before I knew it was a book. Children enjoyed the pictures and the story. Meaning comes across in the very colorful pictures.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
aemd97girl More than 1 year ago
I love this book because my fellow classmates are not the best of friends at the moment and my teacher just had us watch the video. I was so inspired to get the book. So I did and it was very true about the fact that you can always be treased. Because there is always something that makes you different from other people and people don't normally like someone who is different then themselves!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am now purchasing this book since the teacher I borrowed it from has moved. I read this book and played the cd for my kids and we had a huge discussion about this and the main idea and what connections we had to the book. We also did a activity where each person had a paper heart and one someone shared what soomeone has said to them and it hurt them then they had to tear peices of the heart out. At the end I had masking tape 'bandages' to have them tape it back to gether and I asked if it will be the same with all those bandaides on there. Another one I am going to try is having an apple and each time someone says somethign mean bop it on the floor and when we cut open the apple, there will be bruises on there, yet red on the outside. This leads into a discussion as to sometimes the kids hurting on the inside and not ever showing it. This book is wonderful.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I work two jobs, the first is with several handicapped children, and the second is with deaf students. The first time I heard this book I cried (I was in the middle of my graduate social studies class). It couldn't have been said better! Don't Laugh becuase someone is different because deep down we are all the same!
Guest More than 1 year ago
my school is working on children using team work and manners this is a wonderful book and song as a aide who works with children with special neeeds this song made me cry and spoke to the class. they are protective of my students and even though there behavior is sometimes a challange they are coming up with ways around them to help. leep up the good work. jl bounds spring tx
Guest More than 1 year ago
My brother who's seven bought this book online. I thought that it was one of those books on why not to bully and how to stop bullying. It did so much more. This book made me cry. Buy it. You won't regret it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My experience is that this book is powerful to both adults and children that are exposed. I used it in a homeless classroom with resounding success (ages 5-18). All the kids loved the illustrations, were touched by the music, and shared their experiences with 'bullying.' The adults in the room were moved to tears by the honesty and feelings that this story evoked in all the 'high-risk' kids that were present. I recommend both this book and the Operation Respect project/website to anyone that works with children professionally or has children of their own. We need to teach children tolerance and the pain associated with 'bullying'...
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a special ed teacher, I found this book to be wonderful in its simplicity and honesty. It touched nearly every student in my classroom as well as myself!!