Big Red and Little Bitty Wolf: A Story About Bullying by Jeanie Franz Ransom
Published on February 1, 2016
Big Red Riding Hood has been bullying Little Bitty Wolf since she moved into the neighborhood and his parents' advice does not help, but their school counselor, Mr. Know-It-Owl, makes a comment that just might set things right.
This book is an interesting twist on the classic fairy tale. Little Bitty Wolf has to walk through the woods to get to his elementary school. He carries his lunch in a nice basket, and he used to love going to school. After Big Red moves into the neighborhood and starts walking that path, he no longer likes it. Big Red is a bully. She jumps out at him from behind trees, pulls his tail, and eventually steals his lunch. Little Bitty Wolf asks his parents for advice, but telling Big Red to stop and puffing himself up to look bigger don't help. Finally, his teacher takes him to the school counselor. Mr. Know-It-Owl tells him to do something unexpected. Little Bitty Wolf smiles at Big Red and doesn't react to her bullying the next time, and she gives him his lunch back. He wonders how often people smile at her, and he decides to be nice to her from now on.
There is a parent resource section at the end of the book with information on signs of bullying and being a bully. It also talks about ways to deal with it and how to help your kids even if they're just bystanders.
I was a little uneasy about the resolution to bullying in this book. And I was a little surprised the end note didn't address the solution a little more. I think it can be true that bullies are hurting and in need of friends or just looking for attention, even in negative ways. The more I thought about it, I remembered by own experience with my older brother who liked to torment my sister and me. I remember telling her to ignore him and not get upset by his behavior. She never listened. She always yelled or fought back, and he always enjoyed messing with her more than he did me.
This book strives to start the conversation between parents (or teachers) and children about bullying, and I think it serves that purpose well. I haven't read it with my son yet, but I will. I think it's a good resource, but it's not the best resource out there for bullying.
My Rating: 3 stars
I'm linking up with Booking Mama today for Kid Konnection. Every Saturday Julie hosts this link up for all things relating to children's books.
On the blog last year...