"Llama Llama and the Bully Goat" is the latest Anna Dewdney book, featuring the adorable llama learning another life lesson -- this one about bullying. It's important that kids learn about bullying others and what to do about it at an early age -- and this picture book is one way to spread the message to this audience.
In the story, Gilroy Goat is not a nice goat. While almost all the students are having fun at school drawing, singing, writing and counting, Gilroy makes fun of the others. He thinks everything they do is silly. He laughs at them. He finally says a "not-nice name."
That's when teacher steps in. In the rhyming style of the story, she lets Gilroy know such behavior will not be tolerated. Dewdney writes:
"Teacher has some things to say. Calling names is not OK. Being mean is not allowed. Teacher says to stop it now."
But Gilroy doesn't stop. When it's recess and he kicks sand on Llama and his friend, they go to the teacher. She puts Gilroy in a long time-out. Finally, teacher lets Gilroy try to play nicely, and this time he's learned his lesson.
Would that life were so simple and a few words from a teacher could change a student this easily. But the point behind reading this book is to open a discussion about what to do if someone is behaving this way. It's not OK to allow a bully to get away with it.
Young students will benefit from the discussion about behavior, friendship and the necessity of going to an adult for help.
Please note: This review is based on the final hardcover book provided by the publisher, Viking, for review purposes.
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