Thursday, March 31, 2011

The TTLG 2011 Picture Book Celebration: Book Ninety

When I was a little girl I was, unfortunately, the kind of child who was bullied. I did not stand up for myself, nor did I ever have the courage to say "NO!" when I needed to. These days  parents, teachers, and school staff in many towns and cities are trying to find creative ways to put a stop to bullying. It is easy to say that a school has a "no bullying policy" but it is another thing altogether to try to enforce that policy.

In today's book you will meet a bully, and you will also meet two girls who stand up to her. This is a book that every young child should read because it shows to great effect that they can say no to a bully; they can change the situation without having to resort to violence.

You're Mean, Lily Jean!Frieda Wishinsky
Illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton
Picture Book
Albert Whitman, 2011, 978-0-8075-9476-6
   Carly and her big sister Sandy play together all the time. They have wonderful adventures as they pretend to be dragons, knight, explorers, pirates, mountain climbers, and astronauts. Then one day Lily Jean moves in next door, and everything changes.
   Lily Jean suggests that she and Sandy should play house. Not surprisingly, Carly wants to play too, but Lily Jean says “No.” The only way Carly can play house is if she agrees to be the baby, which she consents to do, even though she does not really want to crawl around on her hands and knees.
   The next day Lily Jean comes over and she suggests that she and Sandy should play cowgirls. When Carly asks if she can play too, Lily Jean tells her that she can be the cow. Sandy suggests that they should have three cowgirls in their game, but Lily Jean insists that three cowgirls “are too many.” Reluctantly Carly plays the part of the cow, mooing and eating grass. Is she always going to have the crummy parts in their games? How long should she put up with “mean” Lily Jean and her mean ways?
   Wherever you go, you are going to find children like Lily Jean who are bossy and who like to be mean. They like to make other children feel small and left out, and it is not easy to know how to deal with them. Should one accept their demands or say “No.”
   With sensitivity and care, Frieda Wishinsky shows children how to deal with the Lily Jeans of this world. As they read the story, they will discover that there is even a way to turn a bully into a friend. 

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