Little Bella and the Bullies

Children - Animals
40 Pages
Reviewed on 09/12/2022
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite

When Little Bella is adopted by a poor man who lived in the Alps of northern Italy, little did she know that she would be one of a pack of dogs, the other three dogs being much bigger and older. There was little food, as the old man had no money, so the dogs often went hungry. While the older dogs could hunt for food, Little Bella still had to prove her worth. The older dogs resented the new addition, particularly because she was small and, in their opinion, worthless. They picked on Little Bella and bullied her. Until one day, Little Bella’s smart nose found something unique that would change things around for the old man and his pack of dogs.

T Steele Petry’s picture book story, Little Bella and the Bullies, is a sweet, endearing story that speaks volumes on the issue of bullying and differences. Told in rhyming verse and with beautiful illustrations, the story is very lyrical and touching. The plot follows Little Bella’s adoption and introduction to the old man’s little cabin in the Alps and his big, bully dogs. There will be tears in the eyes of the reader as they feel for Little Bella when she tries to fit in and understand why her differences really matter. All Little Bella wanted, all anyone wants, is to be accepted. All it took was a simple discovery, something that made Little Bella’s uniqueness shine through and be appreciated. This is a beautiful story with a powerful message on accepting differences, for, in the end, we are all different and unique.

Cheryl Schopen

Little Bella and the Bullies, written and illustrated by T Steele Petry, is about a little puppy named Bella. An old man named Antonio finds her and brings her home. However, his home includes three older dogs as well. They don’t really like that Antonio has brought home a new puppy. So, they pick on her and bully her. Bella obviously begins to feel left out, like nothing she is or does is right. But she soon finds a way to earn their respect and gain acceptance.

What I noticed immediately was the beautiful illustrations. I was so impressed with each and every one of them. This is what drew my attention right away, and children will love them as well. What impressed me even more was that the story was written by the same person who did the illustrations. I was speechless by T Steele Petry’s vast talent. The story was so excellently written. Children will enjoy the rhymes, the easy-to-follow storyline, and the sweet, lovable main character. Not only does this book have eye-catching illustrations and a great story, but it also has a meaningful message that all children should learn. We are all different, we all have our own unique gifts and talents, and we should all treat each other the way we would like to be treated. Little Bella and the Bullies does an absolutely fantastic job of teaching us those things. This is a great book for all children. I definitely recommend this book to all parents and educators.

Asher Syed

Little Bella and the Bullies, written and illustrated by T Steele Petry, is a children's picture book revolving around a dog. The book begins in Italy, where a little pup is picked up by an older man named Antonio and brought home to the rural Italian alps. Antonio already has three hound dogs, who are perplexed by the arrival of Bella for several reasons. Antonio doesn't even have enough to feed the group of four consistently, and where the three older dogs serve their purpose in hunting for Antonio, Bella is too small and lacks their skill. She is bullied and left behind, and the dogs steal her little bits of food. When forced to go out and forage for herself, the starving pup makes discoveries all on her own.

There is a lot to like in Little Bella and the Bullies and the simple but beautifully painted illustrations by author T Steele Petry. They are top-notch. The writing has a lyrical quality to it, and even though it is occasionally a little bumpy, kids will like reading along. The colors have an earthy quality that blends the artwork and the words remarkably well. At the end of the story, the author asks some uncomfortable questions, such as should someone take a puppy they can't feed? Is the worth of an animal only realized if it contributes to a household financially? The story also provides the opportunity to discuss how other parts of the world view pets. I believe a book that provokes thought in young readers is commendable and this one does that well. Overall, this is a charming little book and a fun bedtime read.

Marie-Hélène Fasquel

Little Bella and the Bullies by T Steele Petry is a lovely picture book about Bella, a puppy who suffers from bullying. The illustrations are gorgeous and perfectly go with the poetic text. This volume is ideal for very young children who may, unfortunately, encounter the issue of bullying (or even cyberbullying) early on. This beautiful story will help them put words to deeds, put words to events which they should be talking about with their parents, teachers, and carers generally speaking. It will also help them be more resilient and be kinder to others. It is always essential to learn essential truths in amazing storybooks.

Little Bella and the Bullies by T Steele Petry is the story of a puppy called Bella. One day she is adopted by Antonio, a kind old man who is already the owner of Rascal, Attila, and Ivan. With such names, you can fear the worst. And tyrannical they will be, not welcoming the newcomer at all, to say the least. Antonio is poor and there is little to share. In times of crisis, solidarity is often hard to find and they sneer at the poor puppy, so small, so sweet, so harmless, so... different! Most of all, so useless! What on earth can she do? Bella eventually proves her worth and is accepted... and they live together very happily for the rest of their lives.

This book will help young readers believe that everyone is good at something and should be given the chance to prove it. Everyone has their particular skills and purposes on earth; it's just a question of time and trust. Children will learn that being different is what makes us unique, complementary, and valuable. We all need others to thrive and be happy. This story demonstrates how true this is and how much we need to be nice to people who have various talents, skills, or even problems. A treasure of a book. Thank you for sharing it.

Joe Wisinski

In Little Bella and the Bullies, a man brings home a new puppy, but because the newcomer is younger and smaller than the three dogs the man already owns, they bully her. They steal her food, which is already scarce because their owner is poor, and mock her for not chasing rabbits and raccoons as they do. However, one day she finds truffles, which are quite valuable, and thus shows her worth to the other dogs. She then becomes an accepted member of the family. This is a children’s book written in rhyme and illustrated by author T Steele Petry. This book is one of several by the same author, many of which have the word “Little” in their titles.

I enjoyed reading Little Bella and the Bullies. It’s a feel-good story written enjoyably. The rhymes are lyrical, pleasant, and not forced. Author T Steele Petry clearly has a soft spot in his heart for those who are new, different, or for other reasons are the outcasts in a group. According to the dedication, he was bullied as a child, and his book is aimed at helping children overcome the tragedy of bullying. The book encourages people to treat everyone well despite their perceived differences. Most importantly, children will learn lessons about how bullying is wrong by those who do it and how painful it is for the victims. Readers may notice the similarity to the Rudolph, the Red-Nose Reindeer story, and Little Bella and the Bullies teaches the same lessons to children.