Eddie the Bully

illus. by Henry Cole. 40p. little bee. Aug. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781499801811.
PreS-Gr 2—Eddie is the class bully. At every opportunity, he picks on his classmates: calling them names, sabotaging their efforts, and tripping them up. For this reason, he is branded a troublemaker; no one likes him, and even his teachers have given up on him. Then a transfer student named Carla arrives. When she starts speaking to Eddie, all the others hold their breath. Here is the perfect target. But to their surprise, her kindness actually touches him. While the speed of this change of heart is completely unrealistic, Cole does effectively set up and explain the motivation for it. Eddie, who has alienated potential friends, is unconsciously lonely. When Carla gives him a taste of the alternative, Eddie realizes his mistake and does his best to play nice from then on. Cole does not point fingers; he does not delve into the reasons for Eddie's behavior or the effects that his actions have on the bullied. Instead, he focuses on the solution: kindness begets kindness. His amusing cartoon animal designs and soft palette choice establish a tone that supports this lesson, making the outcome plausible.
VERDICT A finely tuned picture book with valuable messages for all children, including bullies. A great selection to read aloud or share with a small group.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing