Bob Sornson and Maria Dismondy, Authors
Kim Shaw, Illustrator
Ferne Press, Fiction, 2011
Mom’s Choice Award, 2012
Suitable for Ages: 4-8
Themes: Acceptable behavior, Bullying, No bystanders, Self-esteem, Empowerment
Opening: As Pete stood in front of his new class, Mr. Peltzer announced, “Let’s welcome Pete to our team. Pete, you will be sitting behind Ralph.” Settling into his seat, Pete pulled his hat down over his head so that only his eyes could be seen.
Synopsis: Pete is the new kid in class. It’s obvious from the start that he has an attitude when he won’t remove his hat in class. He is a bystander watching the other kids play soccer at recess and refuses to join. Ralph invites him to play, but Pete has his own ideas and steals the ball. Lucy and Ruby talk to Pete nicely and explain the classroom rules and promise. Pete only responds by squirting his juice box on Ruby’s shirt. Will Ralph and the students stand up for each other and make a new friend?
Why I like this book: The Juice Box Bully belongs in every classroom. Bob Sornson and Maria Dismondy have written a book that empowers children to stand up for themselves and their friends. It encourages children to make the right choices, teaches them not to be bystanders and to solve the problems with each other before involving adults. This is one of the few books I’ve read where the kids are empowered from the start. If used with a classroom curriculum, it would inspire kids to action. Kim Shaw’s illustrations are bold and colorful. She beautifully captures the action and mood of the story.
Resources: There are excellent back pages on bystanders, empowerment and a classroom Promise. You may also visit Bob Sornson and Maria Dismondy at their websites to learn more strategies about empowering children.
Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Books.