Bully

Laura Vaccaro Seeger. Roaring Brook/Porter, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-59643-630-5
Seeger (Green) uses boldly inked barnyard animals to tell her story about bullying, casting a bull in the title role. The trouble starts when the young bull is rejected by an older one: “Go away!” it shouts. The young bull is shaken, but he’s learned something—how to hurt others. When a rabbit, chicken, and turtle in the barnyard ask him to play, he grumps “No,” then hurls insults at them, names that are no more than the literal truth. “Chicken!” he yells at the chicken, who jumps in the air. “Slowpoke!” he shouts at the turtle. “You stink!” he screams at a skunk. The more he abuses the others, the larger he grows, his angry bluster feeding his self-importance. At last a goat speaks truth to power: “Bully!” the goat cries. “Bully?” the bull repeats to himself. All the inflated air blows out of him, and he tosses and tumbles across a spread like a balloon let loose. Tearfully, he makes peace. Seeger’s pages pop with action, and the lesson couldn’t be clearer. Ages 3–7. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (July)
Reviewed on: 04/29/2013
Release date: 07/16/2013
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