Bully by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
Seeger tackles bullying in her latest book and does so in a rather unique way. The red of the simple front cover along with the bull’s angry stare sets the stage for the scenes to come. We first meet the bull in an enclosure with a bigger bull who yells at him to, “GO AWAY!” The look on his face is sadness and hurt and he does what he is told. He comes upon a rabbit, a chicken, and a turtle who ask if he’d like to play. His expression turns mean and he bellows, “NO!” Even though he has just been hurt by the bigger bull, his behavior mirrors him with these new friends. He calls them names and each time he does he grows larger on the page until he is overpowering. Along comes a billy goat who looks like an ant in comparison and he challenges the bull by calling him a bully. After the goat challenges him twice the bull begins to think about what he has done. As if he were a balloon deflating, the bull flies willy-nilly all over the page. When he is back to his normal size he apologizes to the animals and forgiveness is the order of the day. Seeger plays with the bull’s size, with font, and placement on the page that makes children see the effects of bullying.