by Kes Gray
In this sensitively told story, a little boy is feeling sad because every day he has to face a bully. But the little boy also has friends. A frog, a cat, a rabbit, a cow, and other animal friends insist on helping him, even after he tells them: "There's nothing you can do for me/ There's nothing you can say." Fortunately, he is mistaken, because the next time the bully approaches, they all join with him and shout, "LEAVE HIM ALONE!" And it works! The bully turns around and goes away. Author Kes Gray's gently clever use of rhyming verse gives a difficult subject a wonderfully light touch. Large color illustrations on every page capture the spirit of a story that will have special meaning for many little boys and girls. Catholic Education Week 2019 recommended reading.
Publisher: Barron's Educational Series, Incorporated
Publication date: 9/1/2011
Edition description: Original
Age range: 4 - 7 Years
Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.20 (d)
The team behind 2009’s Mom and Dad Glue returns with another empathetic treatment of an emotionally trying subject: bullying. Working in rhymed couplets, Gray unspools the story of a boy seen sitting despondently in a green meadow, his shadow as long as his face. One by one, animals come up to offer comfort, but he rebuffs each one. “ ‘Leave me alone,’ I said./ ‘Sorry,’ said the cat./ ‘Your sadness makes my whiskers wilt,/ I think we need to chat.’ ” Eight animals later, the boy reveals the source of his anxiety, a giant “So big he blocks the sun,/ Who teases me and bullies me/ Every day for fun.” While Gray’s verse can feel plodding and predictable, Wildish’s artwork supplies a substantial amount of drama. The giant is downright terrifying—an enormous, hulking monster, backlit by a blazing sun, who lumbers toward the group, eyes glowing red. But by banding together and turning the boy’s refrain (and the book’s title) on its head, they send the giant packing. Is the book’s message subtle? No. Effective? Yes. Ages 4–7. (Oct.)