Last week I recommended books for you to read about bullying. Today it's your kids' turn. Here are eight picture books that can start discussions and provoke questions. More than that, reading stories like these might just give your child new ways of dealing with bullying, if it should happen.
(*Book descriptions courtesy of publishers or Amazon.)
Lyla finds a great friend in Jamie on her first day of school, but when Lyla makes the cheerleading squad and a clique of popular girls invites her to join them, Jamie is left behind. Lyla knows bullying when she sees it, though, and when she sees the girls viciously teasing classmates on Facebook, including Jamie, she is smart enough to get out. But no one dumps these girls, and now they're out for revenge.
Hooway for Wodney Wat
His real name was Rodney Rat, but he couldn t pronounce his r s. To make matters worse, he was a rodent. A wodent.
When Camilla Capybara joins Wodney s class and announces that she is bigger, meaner, and smarter than all the other rodents, everyone is afraid especially Wodney. Read along with Wodney as he surprises himself and his classmates by single-handedly saving the whole class from the big bad bully r s or no r s.
Pinduli's mama has always told her that she's the most beautiful hyena ever. But Dog, Lion, and Zebra don't think so. Why else would they make her feel so rotten about her big ears, her fuzzy mane, and her wiggly stripes? Poor Pinduli just wants to disappear--and she tries everything she can think of to make that happen. Yet nothing goes her way. Nothing, that is, until a case of mistaken identity lets her show the creatures of the African savanna how a few tiny words--bad or good--can create something enormous.
Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun
Lucy is one of a kind and Ralph loves to point that out. Lucy's defining moment comes when Ralph truly needs help. Because she knows what she stands for, Lucy has the courage to make a good choice. This charming story empowers children to always do the right thing and be proud of themselves, even when they are faced with someone as challenging as Ralph.
Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon
Molly Lou Melon may be tiny, clumsy, buck-toothed, and with a voice "like a bullfrog being squeezed by a boa constrictor," but she doesn't mind. Her grandmother has utmost confidence in her, and tells her at every turn to believe in herself. "Sing out clear and strong and the world will cry tears of joy," Grandma says. But Molly Lou's self-assurance is put to the test when she moves to a new town, away from her friends and beloved grandmother. During her first week of school, Ronald Durkin taunts Molly Lou Melon in the dull-witted but sharp-edged manner of career bullies, calling her "shrimpo" and "bucky-toothed beaver." Our heroine barely flinches as she systematically sets out to prove herself, and Ronald Durkin ends up feeling pretty foolish.
The Juice Box Bully
Have you ever seen a bully in action and done nothing about it? The kids at Pete's new school get involved, instead of being bystanders. When Pete begins to behave badly, his classmates teach him about "The Promise". Will Pete decide to shed his bullying habits and make "The Promise"?
Weird!, Dare!, Tough!
These three books tell the story of an ongoing case of bullying from three third graders’ perspectives. Luisa describes being targeted by bullying in Weird! Jayla shares her experience as a bystander to bullying in Dare! And in Tough!, Sam speaks from the point of view of someone initiating bullying. Kids will easily relate to Luisa, Jayla, and Sam, as each girl has her own unique experience, eventually learning how to face her challenges with the help of friends, peers, and caring adults.
You're Mean, Lily Jean
Carly always played with her big sister, Sandy. They played dragons adn knights. They played explorers and pirates. They played mountain climbers and astronauts. Then Lily Jean moved in next door. Carly and Sandy are happy to have a new friend join their games. But Lily Jean changes everything. She decides they'll play house and orders Carly to be the baby. When they play king and queen, she tells Carly to bark--King Lily Jean demands a royal dog! Tired of being bossed around, Carly comes up with a way to teach Lily a lesson. With Sandy's help, can she turn a bully into a friend?
Have you used picture books with kids to learn about bullying? Which are your favorites? Comment here.