Book Review of Bully Bean
By Sylvia Cochran, Parenting by the Book
By Thomas Weck and Peter Weck
Publisher: Lima Bear Press, LLC
Publication date: 7/1/2013
Suitable for children between 5 and 7 (or older)
The kingdom of Beandom is back. Loyal readers of this column already know that I have reviewed the other books featuring Lima Bear and friends. So when Bully Bean came hot off the presses, I just had to review it as well.
Not only is Bully Bean an adorable children’s book with a great story and beautiful illustrations, but it also offers an engaging adventure with an important message and multiple life lessons. Bully Bean is the tormentor of Lima Bear and others in Beandom. Bigger and stronger, he consistently picks on the one weaker character that stands out because of his green fur color.
The other characters help the besieged Lima Bear but never actually stand up to the bully. Over the course of the story, the tables turn and Lima has a chance to be rid of his oppressor once and for all. Instead, he chooses to engage the help of others to save the bully. This results in a changed life.
Ok, so the story is predictable, but then again, it is a children’s book, and you need some form of resolution. What sets apart this book from others dealing with the subject of bullying is the acceptance of passivity by others. We all like the stories of the one friend who stands up to the bully, but this rarely happens. Thus, the book appeals to kids who know about bullying perhaps from personal experience but do not have someone else stand up for them.
It also shows that being bullied does not mean that you lose power. In fact, the bullied character had the power of life and death and chose wisely. The bully, on the other hand, is revealed to be a character without direction or aim. Not until he is made to stop and think will this change.
From this standpoint, it is amazing how many life lessons the authors manage to cram into 32 short pages. I highly recommend Bully Bean for kids who are budding readers and for parents who are looking for a great good-night story to read aloud.
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