Thursday, November 13, 2014

A Picture Book a Day for a Year: Day 208

Picture Book:  Bully B.E.A.N.S.

Author: Julia Cook

Illustrator: Anita DuFalla

Summary: Bobbette is the big bad bully in this book, an expert at intimidating her elementary peers, especially Winston, the smartest kid in school. The unnamed female protagonist is invited to Bobbette’s house. There she meets Bobbette’s brother who bullies Bobbette in the same way Bobbette bullies everyone at her school. At home that night, the protagonist explains the bullying to her mom. Her mom gets out a bag of jelly beans and labels them “Bully BEANS” to remind those who eat them that they already have the power to stop bullies. Then she explains that to stop a bully you have to take away their power which requires working and standing together as a group. She suggests that the next time Bobbette bullies Winston, they should all stand beside him and look Bobbette in the eyes. Eat a Bully Bean beforehand. Another tactic is to ignore Bobbette or don’t look her in the eyes. When forced to look in her eyes, together they should loudly say, “Back off!” Telling a teacher or writing a note to a teacher is another suggestion. Lastly, she says that it is important to remember that Bobbette is just kid on the inside who deserves another chance if she starts to act like a friend, not a bully. The next day when the instructions are given and the Bully Beans are passed out, the strategies are tried successfully though with many Bully Beans and much courage. Eventually Bobbette becomes a friend who they armor with Bully Beans for her home situation.

Hanna’s Comments: This book about bullying is written with humor and at a lower level than others I have offered so that it is appropriate for older preschoolers. Also available is Bully B.E.A.N.S.: Activity and Idea Book. Using candy to solve social problems might be a problem for you. It might depend on the degree to which your bullying problem is disrupting your environment. Healthier options might be considered, but Bully Beans does have a nice ring to it. There is an acronym to support the idea: Bullies Everywhere Are Now Stopped.

Publisher & Date of Publication: National Center for Youth Issues, 2009

Age & Grade Appropriateness: 4 and up, Pre and up

# of Pages: 32

Available in Spanish? Not at present

Formats other than Book: None at present

PBT Category: Post 2k

PBT Topics this Book Connects with: abilities, abuse/abuse of power, action, anger, anxiety/worry, armor, bravery/courage, brokenness, bullying/martyrs/persecution/oppression, challenges, communication, community, conflict, danger, dependence/interdependence, difficulties, discord, education/learning/school, emotions/feelings, encouragement, fear, forgiveness/mercy/redemption, friends/friendship, injustice, intercession, mentors/teachers, partners/teamwork, parents/parental love, power, presence, problems/problem solving, underdogs, victims

Scripture Connections: Be strong and courageous (Joshua 1:9); for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

Idea(s) for Application:  Read this book to children if you have a bullying situation within your faith community. Attribute the courage found to be a gift from God and emphasize loving kindness and mercy to all bullies.  

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