Reviewed by Cheryl Schopen for Readers' Favorite
Ella Minnow Peed by John D. Avera is about a little fish named Ella. She is dreading her first day of school. She is convinced that she is going to have a horrible day and the other fish will laugh at and make fun of her because she is so small. Unfortunately, her fears turn into reality. During her first few classes, her classmates laugh at her, and the bully in the school even butchered the ABC song to include Ella's new cruel nickname. However, things change at the end of the day in music class. Ella soon learns that even though her classmates weren't very kind to her, you “should treat others like you want them to treat you."
In the world we live in, we are constantly bombarded with news about bullies and the severe consequences that result from different types of bullying. It's unfortunate but true. Ella Minnow Peed is a refreshing yet fun story with a very important message. We've heard it a thousand times throughout our lives, but the meaning is completely relevant and critical for all children to understand. Treat others the way you want to be treated. John D. Avera does a fantastic job of incorporating this message into Ella’s story. Not only is the plot and message significant, but the story itself is captivating. Children will be able to relate to little Ella's fears and end up rooting for her. The end will not only teach them a lesson but will make them smile as well. Plus, the illustrations are adorable and reminiscent of elementary school drawings, which children will love. I would definitely recommend this book to all parents and teachers of young children. It's a fun and engaging way to teach them about an essential life lesson.