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Posted June 6, 2009
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Jungle Bullies by Steven Kroll is a super story for your young bully busters. Elephant starts a bullying behavior domino effect when he glares at Hippo and uses his hard words to boss Hippo out of the pond. Saddened by Elephant's mandate, Hippo buckles under the pressure to leave and then promptly nudges Lion out of his way on the path. Lion continues the pattern of bullying behavior when he pushes Leopard out of his napping spot, and Leopard follows suit when he orders Monkey out of his tree.
The scared little Monkey runs to another tree to find Mama, who initially encourages him to solve his own problem. When she sees that her tot's safety is threatened by the bully, Mama teaches him to stand up to bullies. Using a clever little rhyme that makes this an engaging read-aloud, Monkey starts the chain reaction that turns the bully into a buddy, animal by animal, all the way back to Elephant, who ends up agreeing that, "Big or little, large or small, this pond's big enough for all. Bullies aren't ever fair; it's a lot more fun to share." This little gem, with its eye-catching illustrations by Vincent Nguyen, will be a welcomed addition to your library and will serve as a springboard for a meaty discussion about the negative effects of bullying and the positive effects of getting along.
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