The Meanest Thing to Say (Little Bill Series)

( 5 )

Overview


This easy-to-read story about peer pressure by comedian and storyteller Bill Cosby is now a Scholastic Reader!

Michael Reilly has introduced a new game to Little Bill and his friends. You get twelve chances to say something mean to another kid--and whoever comes up with the biggest insult is the winner.

Insults start flying: "Jose hops with the frogs in science lab!" "Andrew eats frogs for dinner!" "Little ...

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Overview


This easy-to-read story about peer pressure by comedian and storyteller Bill Cosby is now a Scholastic Reader!

Michael Reilly has introduced a new game to Little Bill and his friends. You get twelve chances to say something mean to another kid--and whoever comes up with the biggest insult is the winner.

Insults start flying: "Jose hops with the frogs in science lab!" "Andrew eats frogs for dinner!" "Little Bill shoots baskets like a girl!"

Little Bill tries to think of really mean things to say in retaliation. But Dad teaches him a strategy that enables Little Bill to save face while remaining the nice kid that he really is!

When a new boy in his second grade class tries to get the other students to play a game that involves saying the meanest things possible to one another, Little Bill shows him a better way to make friends.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - E. L. Thomas
Little Bill is confronted by a new boy at school with the intention of being mean under the guise of a name calling game. Bill is saved by the recess bell and has the evening to prepare his mean things to say. With some strategy from Dad, Bill turns the table on the verbal bully with embarrassing either party. The tactic presented may not always be successful but it does show young readers that there are ways to interact with other children without losing face or resorting to violence. It is part of the "Little Bill" series.
Children's Literature
Little Bill is great. In this installment of Cosby's series, it is a normal day for Little Bill except there is a new kid, Michael. "It didn't take him long to start trouble—just until recess." Michael wants to play a new kind of game, not basketball like all the other kids want. No, he wants to start a game called "Playing the Dozens" where each person gets a chance to say twelve mean things, and the one who says the meanest thing wins. Many of us have played some form of this game without thinking about the consequences. Little Bill learns that saying mean things makes him feel mean, and hearing mean things makes him mad. When he is still mad at home, his family helps out. His father remembers playing this game as a kid too. The perfect response, Little Bill learns, is not to keep adding insults, but to let them go—asking "so?" By using his new strategy, Little Bill deflects Michael's game of insults and gets back to basketball. And he even invites Michael to play. Cosby does this without being sickly sweet or cute. There are activities at the end of the book to increase reading speed and fluency. 2003 (orig. 1997), Scholastic, Ages 4 to 8.
—Amy S. Hansen
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3--Cosby turns his hand to writing, telling stories about situations that children often face. In The Best Way to Play, Little Bill, the narrator, and his friends get caught up in the excitement and marketing of their favorite TV cartoon, Space Explorers, and desperately want their parents to buy them the expensive video game. They become bored with it quickly, however, and realize that it's more fun to play Space Explorers outside. In The Meanest Thing to Say, Little Bill comes face to face with a bully. The Treasure Hunt takes him on a voyage of self-exploration. It seems to him that everyone in his family has a special quality. After a full day of searching, he discovers that his is "telling stories and making people laugh." These titles feature short chapters, making them appropriate for beginning readers--but they're also short enough to be read aloud. Honeywood's illustrations are bright and eye-catching, and show Little Bill and his friends and family as having distinctive personalities and characteristics. Each book comes with a letter to parents from a child psychiatrist about the subject matter in that book. While the writing is nothing extraordinary, Cosby has a good grasp of the issues and how the world looks through children's eyes. The primarily African-American characters also make these books welcome additions to easy-reader collections.--Dina Sherman, Brooklyn Children's Museum, NY
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780590956161
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/28/1997
  • Series: Little Bill Series
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 108,951
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: 350L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.32 (w) x 9.22 (h) x 0.09 (d)

Meet the Author

Bill Cosby
Bill Cosby

Bill Cosby is an American entertainer, comedian, actor, producer, author, educator, musician, and activist. He is best known for his portrayal of Cliff Huxtable on The Cosby Show, which has become a television classic. Born and raised in Philadelphia, he earned a Doctor of Education degree from the University of Massachusetts, and is a jazz musician.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2007

    Being mean isn't the way to be popular

    This book should be read by all young kids in school at one time or another. It shows how to defeat a bully whose only intention is to spread hate. It also tells how to win friends by being nice.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2002

    Great Book

    The Meanest Thing To Say By: Bill Cosby This book was great and cool. Little Bill's Dad shows him what to say when Little Bill would not say mean things. "So"! It made Michael sad. Little Bill wanted to be friends. Our classmate Kenyetta had to show her sister how to be nice. If you like Little Bill this is the book for you.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2002

    Parent's Helper

    This book is excellent in assisting parents in dealing with situations that kids encounter at school and dealing with other children. I loved how the dad dealt with his son and related to his experience, by telling of the good ole' days! My boys want me to read them the Little Bill books over and over

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2000

    THANK YOU MR. COSBY & MS. HONEYWOOD!

    The Little Bill series is Wonderful! These are the most popular books in my classroom library. My students enjoy the storylines, which are relevant to their lives and experiences. They are easy to read and brief. This makes them appealing to my students with reading troubles. They are divided into chapters and the illustrations resemble comic books. Because of this my older students with reading problems do not find them demeaning or babyish, as are most of the books they can read. Getting an eleven-year-old, who has expreinced frustration in reading, excited about books is very difficult. But the Little Bill series entices them. They beg me to let them read. They have made wonderful advances because they have been motivated by books they truly enjoy. My deepest thanks to the author and illustrator.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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