Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Bully and the Shrimp - Book Review

The Bully and the Shrimp was sent to us as part of the Parragon Book Buddies Scheme. BB is always excited when a new book arrives and we set about reading it straight away. I got a bit nervous part way through. I wasn't sure I liked this book - I should have read it first before I started reading it with him. I skipped some bits and we finished quickly and did something else.

The Bully and the Shrimp - Book cover showing the two main characters, Bully and Shrimp
The Bully and the Shrimp


He wasn't fooled though. He knew I hadn't read it properly. He wanted to look at it some more. So I sat down with it and quickly went through. The thing that had bothered me was that it was about someone being nasty to another child. I wasn't sure I wanted to introduce my child to that sort of nastiness. But in the end I decided that perhaps it wasn't so bad. BB was probably attracted to it because there is a boy at nursery who hits the other kids - maybe I should read it with him for this reason. Also the main character in the book is called Noah, and BB has a best friend called Noah.

As you might expect it is a good news story. The little "Shrimp" who is bullied is sad at first, but then he works through it, makes some friends and stands up to the bully and they all live happily ever after. Its a nice idea, and although it has been developed with teachers, in my experience it is rarely this simple - if only it was!

The best thing about the book though is that it is great for parents to be able to read this with their child and open up the conversations about bullying - that in itself gives the book value. There are one or two strategies in the book that may be useful too, and it may be nice to give a bullied child hope, or a friend of a bullied child some ideas on how they can stand by their friend.

Other than that I think it misses the mark a bit. Its not a brilliant tale, and its not all that helpful at dealing with bullying (which I think was it's intention) but it's OK, and might be worth adding to your books shelf just to base those conversations around if the need arises.

Disclaimer: This book was received free of charge for the purpose of this review as part of the Parragon Book Buddies Program. All opinions are our own.

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