A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that EllRay Jakes the Dragon Slayer!, the fourth book in Sally Warner's popular EllRay Jakes series, takes an age-appropriate, non-scary look at what constitutes bullying among young children, and how preschoolers and early graders react to bullying. In this case, preschoolers gang up on 4-year-old Alfie, EllRay's sister, and he tries to help her stand up to her classmates. There's a bit of violence when a rough game of dodge ball leads to a boy's classes breaking. Overall, the EllRay Jakes books offer a very positive look at problem solving within a warm, supportive African-American family.
What's the story?
In ELLRAY JAKES THE DRAGON SLAYER!, Book 4 of Sally Warner's series, third-grader EllRay goes into his little sister, Alfie's, preschool to sign her out and observes a few girls being mean to Alfie. At home, EllRay is disturbed to see Alfie becoming increasingly sad; he learns that the other girls, led by a difficult child named Suzette, have decided to treat Alfie as if she's invisible. When EllRay's class is told to write an essay about an important event, EllRay writes about Alfie's predicament, and some other kids give him a hard time about his preoccupation with a 4-year-old. But EllRay's determined make the preschool bullying stop, even if Alfie won't stand up for herself.
Is it any good?
Warner's fourth EllRay Jakes book offers a relatable, non-scary view of bullying among very young children and shows how kids react to mean behavior. Adults are often surprised to learn how early bullying can start, but kids know that even at preschool, friends can turn on each other and gang up on other children. Kids will relate to Alfie and EllRay, learn about concepts of personal pride and character, and enjoy the illustrations by Brian Biggs. This is a caring story that shows a loving family, realistic kids, and the heartwarming loyalty 8-year-old EllRay feels for his little sister.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about whether EllRay did the right thing to help Alfie. What's the right way to help a friend who is being bullied?
Have you read other books in which kids are bullied? What did you learn from reading about bullying?
EllRay writes a school report about Alfie's problem. Try using EllRay's method to tell a story of your own. First answer the five questions about an event: What happened, when and where did it happen, what are some details, and how did it end?
- Author: Sally Warner
- Illustrator: Brian Biggs
- Genre: Friendship
- Topics: Brothers and sisters, Friendship, Misfits and underdogs
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Viking Juvenile
- Publication date: May 16, 2013
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 6 - 8
- Number of pages: 144
- Available on: Paperback, Nook, Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
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