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Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite
Happy Jack Sad Jack: A Bullying Story is a children's picture book by Mark M. Bello. Jack is a happy interracial child who is due to start kindergarten. On the very first day of school, he excitedly joins his new classmates on a new adventure. While playing during recess, Jack is pushed to the ground by one of his classmates, causing him to hurt his knee. As the days go by, the boy continues to tease Jack, making him sad and his parents concerned. They make an appointment with Principal Lou, determined to find the reason for Jack's unhappiness. When the truth comes out, Principal Lou makes it clear to all the students that bullying will not be tolerated, and no matter the religion or race, everyone will be treated equally, as every child deserves to be happy.
Happy Jack Sad Jack is a moving story about a child facing and knowing discrimination for the first time in his life. Mark M. Bello's thoughtfully crafted tale gives a powerful message about embracing diversity and teaches kids to be more compassionate, understanding, and empathic towards one another. Let's face it, we are all in this world together. The rhyming verses are engaging, making the book more fun to read. Apart from Bello's catchy prose, the beautiful illustrations by Melinda Falgoust add color to the pages and bring the characters to life. This is an important story that feels all the more relevant in today's world, and it needs to be told. Highly recommended.