A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents should know Freckleface Strawberry and the Dodgeball Bully is the second title in Julianne Moore's picture book series about a feisty little girl named Freckleface Strawberry. This time she's dealing with a playground bully, a scary game, and her own fears, not her freckles. Her story offers a great opportunity to talk about the bullying that can happen as part of a game, as well as what makes a game fun or not.
What's the story?
FRECKLEFACE STRAWBERRY AND THE DODGEBALL BULLY deals with a game that many kids dread playing: dodgeball. Some kids, especially if they're the same size and have the same ability, love the game. But, for players of different sizes with different skills, it can be frightening. And it can give a borderline bully the perfect chance to dominate the group. That's what happens here. The bully's a very large child with the not-so-flattering name of Windy Pants Patrick. His much smaller classmate, Freckleface Strawberry, generally loves to play, but she dreads rainy days when she has to play dodgeball, especially when he has the ball. It looks, and sounds, like it really hurts when he smacks the other kids with the ball. She tries to hide out, but eventually comes up with a plan of her own that solves her problem and teaches Windy Pants an important lesson. It turns out that getting hit with the ball doesn't really hurt, and Windy Pants Patrick isn't such a bad guy after all.
Is it any good?
Julianne Moore's storytelling is inspiring and hilarious (especially when read aloud), and her character Freckleface Strawberry is as cute and indomitable as ever. The story of Freckleface Strawberry and Windy Pants Patrick will sound very familiar to most people, kids and adults alike, especially if they've ever played dodgeball.
The expressive brush and digital illustrations of LeUyen Pham again are the perfect complement to Moore's playful narrative that teaches a gentle lesson. Those who liked the first Freckleface book are sure to love this second adventure, and will look forward to hearing more of this brave little character.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the very expressive illustrations in this book. What does the first illustration of the group dodgeball game show you about the different kids and their feelings about the game? Which ones are smiling, which ones are not? Why do you think they feel differently about the game?
Have you read any of the other Freckleface Strawberry books? How do you think this one compares with the others?
Have you ever encountered someone like Windy Pants Patrick during a game on the playground? Was he fun to play with? What did you do? What do you think works best in this situation?
- Author: Julianne Moore
- Illustrator: LeUyen Pham
- Genre: Picture Book
- Topics: Sports and Martial Arts, Friendship, Misfits and Underdogs
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
- Publication date: April 28, 2009
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 5 - 8
- Number of pages: 40
- Available on: Paperback, Nook, Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
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