Barnyard Bully

Barnyard Buddies Volume 1

Children - Animals
84 Pages
Reviewed on 04/25/2014
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Bil Howard for Readers' Favorite

Being the new kid on the block sometimes isn’t easy and sometimes our fear turns to aggression and makes the matter worse. That is one of the many lessons learned in Barnyard Bully (Barnyard Buddies) by Donna Taylor. When Jake, the paint horse, arrived at the ranch, he felt very much alone and very frightened. He was greeted by Bud, Smokey and Bucky and instantly became aggressive with them. The entire barnyard was taken aback by this behavior and was at a loss in dealing with their new barn mate. With advice from a wise old owl with an English accent, Ollie, they were able to learn how to deal with Jake and bullies in general, especially when they learn that they have to work together to protect each other from a pack of wild dogs. Things aren’t always what they seem and with a little understanding, friendship can be salvaged out of a bad situation. Added into the story are fun facts about barnyard animals which add even more to the value of this book.

Barnyard Bully is a delightful book that teaches some very important lessons about bullying and friendship. The tongue in cheek humor of Donna Taylor is scattered throughout the book and offers plenty of chuckles, though the main point of the story is a very serious one. This lighthearted set of lessons from the barnyard, focused on Jake and his problem with being the new kid on the block, is not only fun to read but teaches children the importance of friendship, as well as the difference between being a bully and being a leader. Honest, entertaining and enlightening, Barnyard Bully (Barnyard Buddies) is an excellent addition to your child’s education.

Jack Magnus

Barnyard Bully is the first book in Donna Taylor's Barnyard Buddies Series. It's based on a true story about a young horse who came to live on the author's farm. In Barnyard Bully, the new horse's name is Jake. He was brought to the farm by Mr. McDoogle, who already had three horses. The horses used to work in the fields with Mr. McDoogle, but now that he used a tractor and other farm machinery to work the fields, the three horses had a pretty nice life. Bud was the oldest and was the leader of the horses. Smokey came next. The last to arrive at the farm, Bucky was the third horse. When they saw Jake, the horses expected that he would be the last horse in the group, but Jake was frightened and decided that he had to show them he was the new boss. Jake became a bully and made the rest of the friendly animals on the farm quite unhappy until something happened to change his attitude.

Donna Taylor's children's book Barnyard Bully is a joy to read. Taylor gives each animal a name and a distinctive character, and it's a lot of fun to listen in as they discuss the problems on the farm and how to deal with them. Barnyard Bully also gives great insights into why people become bullies, and how sometimes being nice to a bully is the first step in turning them around. I really enjoyed the illustrations which fit the story perfectly and the factoids that are sprinkled throughout the tale such as 'trip' being the group name for a flock of goats and horses don't fall over when they sleep standing up because they can lock their legs. Barnyard Bully is an educational and entertaining fable that will keep a new reader reading quite happily. It's got action, adventure, and great pictures -- and a message that's delivered quite brilliantly.

Faridah Nassozi

When a new horse named Jake arrived at Mr. McDoogle’s farm, he did not know what to expect from the other animals and he was scared so he decided to mark his territory by becoming a bully. Jake's arrival disturbed the status quo at the farm as he went on the offensive, bullying and being mean to all the other animals. Ollie the owl was concerned about Jake's poor attitude and decided to find out what made Jake behave the way he did. When Ollie returned from his mission, he was determined to help restore peace and love at the farm, but his plan did not seem to work. Jake continued to be mean so the other animals did not want anything to do with him. Then one night, while Mr. McDoogle was away from the farm, the animals were faced with a very dangerous predicament which required them to put their differences aside and work together if they were to make it through the night.

Barnyard Bully by Donna Taylor is an amazing story about life on a beautiful farm and the animals that called it home. The book is intriguing and hilarious as you get to know the character, feelings and thoughts of each of the animals and discover the dynamics as each animal marks its territory and protects what it feels is its rightful space. The way Donna Taylor describes life on the farm and depicts each animal's character brings the story to life and gives you a vivid image of what it is like to live there. Jake's arrival at the farm shook things up. It was very interesting to see how each animal reacted to the arrival of the newcomer with a bad attitude, and the lessons the animals later learnt as a result of new circumstances. The book teaches important lessons about bullying, how fear can turn one into a bully, and what it takes to bring a bully over to the good side.