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Reviewed by Rosie Malezer for Readers' Favorite
The Verbal Bully is a title from The Brown Bear and Oofie series for young readers. Both written and illustrated by Masami S.C., the tale of The Verbal Bully deals with the harshness of a bully’s words. As Brown Bear celebrates the beautiful day outside, her best friend, Oofie, cries. Oofie tells Brown Bear that she is no longer permitted to play with the other dogs because she looks different. Brown Bear teaches Oofie that looks are of no consequence and that the best way to defeat a verbal bully is with a quick and clever retort or, better still, to ignore the bully completely. After Brown Bear’s encouraging words, Oofie finds herself smiling, determined to assert her confidence to all bullies in the future.
I was quite impressed by the powerful message that The Verbal Bully provides to the young children of today. Masami S.C. has produced a very empowering, uplifting book filled with wisdom and confidence-building, as well as bright and colorful illustrations which bring the story to life. My heart sank as I watched Oofie’s tears flow. Although it has been some decades since I was in school, bullying tends to not only interfere in the confidence of young people, but also of teenagers and adults. Bullies knock you down in order to make themselves feel better, yet they are showing the world how obnoxious, cowardly and sad they truly are. As Oofie takes back her confidence and feels strength coursing through her thanks to her friend, she finally feels empowered to confront the verbal bully when they next strike.
A glossary of words is included at the back of the book so that children can learn what the terms in the book mean. I like the positive and up-beat attitude in the dialogue of The Verbal Bully and recommend it to young readers aged 5-8 years. The Verbal Bully would also be ideally stocked in school libraries, social offices and health centers, so that children can learn that you do not need to sink to a bully’s level in order to overcome the hurt they cause.