Llama Llama and the Bully Goat

Common Sense Media says

School bully tale great for showing kids how to respond.

Age(i)

2
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4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
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15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Educational value

Kids learn the sounds different animals make ("Sheep goes baa and calf goes moo.") and the basic routines of preschool and kindergarten, from drawing and counting to sing-alongs, circle time, and recess. Most important, they learn that bullying is not OK.

Positive messages

Calling names, making fun of others, being mean and pushing are not allowed in school or on the playground. If you act that way others won't want to play with you. If you play nicely, others will want to play with you and be your friend. If someone bullies you, walk away and tell someone, like your teacher. People can learn from their mistakes and change negative behavior. The emphasis is on showing what kids should do if bullied, and how a disciplined bully can can change for the better (after a time-out and learning how to respect and get along with others). 

Positive role models

Llama Llama and Nelly Gnu play nicely together, and when they get bullied, they do the right thing: walk away and tell their teacher. When the teacher suggests they try playing with Gilroy again, they are open to it and are able to become friends with him, seeing he's changed.

Violence & scariness

Gilroy calls others names, insults them, tosses toys and sticks, kicks sand on Llama, throws dirt at Nelly and pushes her in the sand box.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Llama Llama and the Bully Goat is another picture book in the bestselling series about Llama Llama and his young animal friends of all kinds, who seem like stand-ins for average preschoolers. Llama often has trouble sharing or feels needy or jealous. But in this book, he and his friend Nelly Gnu are models of good behavior, especially in contrast to Gilroy Goat, who bullies kids at school. The message comes through loud and clear: Calling names and being mean is not OK. And if you get bullied, walk away and tell someone. There's also a message that bullies can change their behavior and learn to play nice, and kids who were bullied can forgive and befriend a former bully.

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What's the story?

Gilroy Goat spends the morning at school making fun of others, calling names, being mean, and at recess he kicks dirt and sand on Llama and pushes Nelly in the sandbox. Llama tells him, "Gilroy, this is not OK. Stop it, or we'll go away." He and Nelly do walk away and tell the teacher, who gives Gilroy a time-out. The second half of the book shows Gilroy learing from his mistake, learning how to play nicely with others and become their friend.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

LLAMA LLAMA AND THE BULLY GOAT offers a realistic preschool or kindergarten scenario and, with a pretty light touch, shows what to do if you get bullied: Walk away and tell someone. It also shows that even bullies can change and learn to get along with others. The popular Llama Llama character, who isn't always perfectly behaved himself, is a perfect choice to deliver this positive message to kids. (Though in real life, kids may not find the turnaround as fast or easy as it is here.)

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how to respond to a bully. What steps should you take right away if you get bullied?

  • The Llama Llama books are very popular. Why do you think that is?

  • How do the pictures help tell the story? What's different about the animals' faces after the goat stops being a bully?

Book details

Author:Anna Dewdney
Illustrator:Anna Dewdney
Genre:Picture Book
Topics:Cars and trucks, Friendship, Great boy role models, Great girl role models, Horses and farm animals, Misfits and underdogs, Wild animals
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Viking Juvenile
Publication date:August 6, 2013
Publisher's recommended age(s):3 - 5
Read aloud:3 - 5
Read alone:6 - 7
Available on:Hardback, Kindle, Nook

This review of Llama Llama and the Bully Goat was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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