Kirkus Review - Bully
Kirkus Review (Jun 2018)
A self-centered and egotistical bullfrog refuses to share the beauty of the pond ecosystem, ultimately leaving him in a muddy mess.
Sitting amid the tasty, beautifully scented lilies, Bully chases away the snail, the dragonfly, the bee, and “even the smallest fly,” declaring, “Those delicious, marvelous-smelling, tender lilies are MINE! Everybody out!” Now alone, he indulges in using and abusing the lilies by fashioning them into a crown, eating them until his tummy hurts, and making a new bed of lilies each night. When there is but one lily remaining, Bully guards it by sitting on it. The bee then leads her fellow evictees to take action, forming a large and intimidating squadron of bees, dragonflies, snails, and flies and successfully chasing Bully off the last lily pad and out of the pond. With the return of all the pollinators, the pond’s natural splendor is revived. Unfazed by the consequences of his behavior, Bully must now enjoy all the pleasures of sitting in a pile of gooey mud. “ ‘Humph,’ Bully croaked. ‘All mine.’ ” Sattler’s fable provides a model for how a sharing and caring community will win against a selfish bully’s ugly influence. Expressive graphite-and-watercolor illustrations reflect both the bullfrog’s emotional and environmental impacts on the pond and its inhabitants and the ultimate benevolent message of kindness. A final note about ways to practice acts of kindness completes the concept.
Truly, a tale for our times.