Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Review - Llama Llama and the Bully Goat

Llama Llama and the Bully Goat (Llama Llama)
by Anna Dewdney
Date: 2013
Publisher: Viking Children's
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 41
Format: e-book
Source: library

Llama Llama likes to sing.

Gilroy laughs at everything.

Llama sings out just the same.

Gilroy says a not-nice name.

Teacher has some things to say:

calling names is not OK.

Llama Llama is learning lots of new things at school and making many friends. But when Gilroy Goat starts teasing him and some of their classmates, Llama Llama isn't sure what to do. And then he remembers what his teacher told him—walk away and tell someone. It works! But then Llama Llama feels badly. Can he and Gilroy try to be friends again?

Taking on a difficult but important part of children's lives, Anna Dewdney gives readers a way to experience and discuss bullying in a safe and comforting way.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

I love the full-length Llama Llama books. They usually have a nice story with a great message, packaged in a sweet and accessible way. Llama Llama and the Bully Goat is no different, telling the tale of a troublesome classmate who just seems intent on stirring up trouble. He mocks the other kids. He interferes with their play. He teases them for having dolls. (I'd hate to see Gilroy Goat's home life; his behaviour hints at something potentially problematic.)

What I really like about these books is that they present a problem and then show kids how to deal with it. In this book, the bullied kids (Llama and Nelly) eventually stand up to the bully and then go and tell the teacher... who believes them and does something about the problem. In an ideal world, this is what should be happening, and I like how it's handled here. Gilroy gets his time-out and a chance to reflect on his behaviour (he'd already been told to stop, so it wasn't like the punishment came out of nowhere). Eventually, the kids all end up playing together and having fun... once Gilroy gets his bullying behaviour under control.

The illustrations are, as always, adorable. It's fun to see all the different animals that make up Llama's class. There's everything from a kitten to a gnu... and the teacher is a zebra!

This is another strong title in the Llama Llama series. I'd definitely recommend giving this one a try.

Quotable moment:

Premise: 5/5
Meter: 4/5
Writing: 4/5
Illustrations: 4/5
Originality: 5/5

Enjoyment: 5/5

Overall: 4.57 out of 5

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