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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
War at the Ice Cream Store: Mustachio Pistachio vs. Bully Vanilli is a social issues picture book for children, grades k-3, written by Cheryl DaVeiga and Dave Gibson and illustrated by Sarah Krogman, Dave Gibson, and Jay Petsko. The Frozen Frogg ice cream store was a happy place with one glaring exception -- King Bully Vanilli was a bit of a tyrant and lorded it over the other flavors. He was so impressed with his popularity that he felt he could bully the others, especially Mustachio Pistachio, whose status as the least popular flavor meant he was the loneliest flavor in the store. He had also become Bully Vanilli’s favorite victim. Things got really out of hand when Bully Vanilli kicked Mustachio Pistachio’s carton out of the freezer. As his contents began to melt and leak onto the floor, Mustachio Pistachio called out for help from the other flavors but would they defy Bully Vanilli to help their friend?
Cheryl DaVeiga and Dave Gibson's War at the Ice Cream Store addresses an issue that most children are familiar with -- the popular kid in school who also happens to be a bully. The author’s upbeat and inspiring fable shows kids that, yes, even the most popular and powerful bullies can be neutralized if everyone else stands together and helps each other. I loved following as the flavors began to realize they could stand up for themselves and for Mustachio Pistachio. The artists who’ve illustrated this book do an awesome job of making the flavors come to life. There’s action, drama and quite a bit of humor as the author shows kids a way of dealing with the Bully Vanillis in their lives. This is a grand selection for storytime, but it’s also written at the level of the targeted audience for reading on their own. And don’t forget to visit the link provided for fun activities, sing-alongs, and a narrated multimedia version of the story. War at the Ice Cream Store: Mustachio Pistachio vs. Bully Vanilli is highly recommended.