PreS-Gr 1-In this fourth tale about Jessica, the first grader is being picked on by a classmate. Brenda doesn't like it when Jessica does something better so she makes fun of the child's "toothpick" legs, derides her kickball abilities, and ostracizes her from the "popular" lunch table. The final straw is when her mother mistakenly gives Jessica her little brother's "boy" lunchbox and Brenda teases her about it in front of the other children. After Jessica breaks down in tears at home, her mother offers two rather simplistic options for dealing with the dilemma: tell the bully how you feel or tell the teacher and let him take care of the situation. When Brenda bothers Jessica the next day, Jessica finally decides that "Enough [is] enough!" and easily devastates Brenda with a few well-chosen words without stooping to her level of meanness. Entertaining pen-and-ink and watercolor illustrations clearly illuminate the tale while deftly revealing the characters' variety of emotions. Not many bullies could be so easily defeated, but in a story for young children, a lesson in how to stand up for oneself is always welcome.-Maryann H. Owen, Racine Public Library, WI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
First-grader Jessica is a worrier, and her biggest worry is the class bully, Brenda, who makes fun of how she looks and what she does. All alone in the cafeteria, Jessica comes close to tears, and at home she cannot sleep. Then a classmate and her friends support Jessica and tell her to stand up to the bully, and Jessica talks it all over with her mom. What should she do? Tell the teacher? Mock the bully? Finally, she does stand up to Brenda, who slinks away. The book's title is an overstatement, and the solution may be a bit simple; if only handling bullies was always so easy. But the universal scenario will open up discussion and encourage kids to develop coping strategies. With simple dialogue and big, ink-and-watercolor cartoon-style illustrations, this book captures the drama and familiar feelings sadness, loneliness, fear, and sometimes triumph that come with facing up to bullies.--Rochman, Hazel Copyright 2009 Booklist