Lucy and the Bully by Claire Alexander

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If you are looking for a good picture book to initiate a conversation about bullying, I’ve got it – and believe me, the search was not an easy one.  Two of us (the school psychologist and I) were on the case.  We looked at lots of books and nothing felt right. I’m not naming titles, but the books in the “no go” pile landed there for a couple of reasons. Usually, they had too much text. We were looking for something to read to young children (4-7) that would raise questions: What is a bully? When should a child involve teachers and parents? 

Others were too didactic. The kids would not have the patience to sit through some of the humorless stories we read – they were even hard for me to get through.

But…last week I found Lucy and the Bully by Claire Alexander and wondered how I missed it. The story of the lamb (Lucy) and the bull (the bully, of course) is sweet and the illustrations are so brilliant at conveying emotion that you can almost “read” them without reading the words.  It strikes the perfect mix: a timely topic, not too much text, not too didactic and a terrific way to begin an important conversation.

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