home / grade level / picture book

Annotated Bibliography of Bully Books for Grade Levels:

Picture Books

Level identifier in parentheses at end of descriptions
PB – picture book,
I – intermediate (most can be read to primary),
M – middle school,
H – high school.


book cover A Tale of Two Daddies by Vanita Oelschlager, illustrators Kristin Blackwood and Mike Blanc.

Through a series of simple questions one little boy comes to understand one little girl who has two daddies. He is curious and she is proud. Bright, colorful, uncluttered illustrations add to the book.

This simple text shows how easily children can accept a family with two daddies. The little boy asks normal-type questions because he is curious not because he is trying to hurt or embarrass the little girl. The little girl gets to share about her family in a way that lets the boy and the reader know she is proud. Vanita Books. LLC, 2010.P/B

book cover The Bully Blockers Club by Teresa Bateman, Illustrator Jackie Urbanovic

Grant Grizzly decides to pick on Lotty and after several days of the harassment, her parents notice something is wrong. Though her dad calls the school-things don't change until Lolly comes up with her own plan. After observing Grant on the playground as he bullies other kids, she asks these kids if they would like to form a club to support each other whenever Grant picked on one of them. As their club grew, Grant's power diminished and eventually he started being nice.

I like the way this book empowers the bystanders who are also the targets. They learned how to take care of each other and that spreads to other kids, even the bully. I also like that the author showed that parents trying to fix a bully problem rarely works and does not empower their child. This great book supports the research on bullying; not all picture books do so.
Albert Whitman & Company, 2004. P/B

book cover Busing Brewster by Richard Michelson, illustrator R.G. Roth.

Set in Boston during 1974 when court ordered-busing started, the main character, Brewster and his brother are taken to their first day in a white school. Though there are words thrown by children and adults, Brewster finds the right adult to help him, Miss O'Grady, the librarian, who encourages Brewster in his hopes to one day become president.

I like that history is woven with the realities of today, Brewster might just get to be president, and there were white people who believed in the busing. Alfred A. Knopf/Random House, 2010. "Random House Children's Books supports the First Amendment and celebrates the right to read." (Printed on the copy write page) P/B

book cover

Crickwing by Janell Cannon. Harcourt, 2000. Because Crickwing has a broken wing and can’t move very fast, he has to find other ways to protect himself. His artistic talents help him distract his attackers and make friends with the leaf-cutting ants.

book cover

Daddy’s Roommate by Michael Willhoite. Alyson Wonderland, 1990. Told in the first person, a young boy talks about his parents’ divorce and about Frank, his dad’s new roommate. The boy’s mother explains that being gay is just one more kind of love.

book coverDaddy, Papa, and Me by Lesléa Newman, illustrated by Carol Thompson

“Me,” a voice of a toddler, tells what the day is like with two fathers. Simple language and colorful illustrations. Tricycle Press, 2009.(PB)



Mommy, Mama, and Me by Lesléa Newman, illustrated by Carol Thompson

A parallel book to Daddy, Papa, and Me, a toddler tells the story of a day with two mothers. Simple language and colorful illustrations. Tricycle Press, 2009.(PB)

book cover

Do Unto Otters--A Book About Manners by Laurie Keller. New York: Henry Holt, 2007.   Mr. Rabbit gets worried when the new neighbors are Otters. He doesn't know any otters, he has never met an otter-they are different! Then Owl tells him to "treat otters the same way you'd like otters to treat you."

book cover

The Family Book by Todd Parr. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2003.   Using human and animal families displayed through colorful graphics, Parr writes about ways families are different and alike.

book cover

Just One Flick of a Finger by Marybeth Lorbiecki, illustrated by David Diaz. Dial Books / Penguin, 1996. Jack is tired of Reebo bullying him and even though Sherms comes to his rescue, Jack steals his dad's revolver and brings it to school. Set in high school with incredible illustrations and told in verse, this is the only picture book I could find that deals with potential violence. (M/H)

book cover

Hands Are Not for Hitting by Martine Agassi, illustrated by Marieka Heinlen. Free Spirit, 2001. This picture book shows the many good things hands can do.

book cover

Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman, illustrated by Diana Souza. Heather starts school and learns there are many different types of families.

book cover

In Our Mothers' House by Patricia Polacco, A narrator tells the story of her loving mothers who adopted her and later, two other children to complete their happy family. Polacco’s books are always beautiful. Philomel Books/Penguin, 2009.(PB)

book cover

Is It Because? by Tony Ross. Barron’s, 2005. Questions plague the narrator as he tries to figure out why Wally Wormhead bullies him.

book cover Jake's Best Thumb by Ilene Cooper, illustrated by Claudio Muñoz

Jakes exists quite well with one thumb in his mouth and one thumb handling the tasks in his world. When people ask him when he will stop sucking his thumb, he says, "Not for a while." But then he starts kindergarten and Cliff loudly labels Jake a "thumb sucker." Slowly everyone's special security is discovered-Jake has his thumb, Nell has her little stuffed cat, Kitty Harold, and even Cliff has a scrap of his blankie. The book ends with each child deciding the next day s/he would go to school without her/his bit of security.

I like that people didn't ignore Jake's thumb sucking but he was given the space to decide when he did not need it, He was probably only 5. Everyone has a special bit of security, some bits are more visible that others. Dutton Children's Books, 2008. P/B

book cover

Jungle Drums by Graeme Base. Harry N. Abrams, 2004. Everyone knows warthogs get the least respect because they are not as cool as the other animals, until Ngiri, the smallest warthog in all of Africa, plays the magic drums.

book cover

King & King by Linda de Haan & Stern Nijland. Tricycle Press, 2000. The Queen is tired of being the queen and wants her son to marry and take over the throne. The Prince is not interested until he meets Princess Madeleine’s brother, Prince Lee.

book cover

King of the Playground by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, illustrated by Nola Langner Malone. Aladdin Paperbacks, 1994. Kevin has to deal with Sammy who calls himself the” King” of the playground, but Kevin’s dad asks him all the right questions to handle Sammy.

book cover

Lissy's Friends by Grace Lin. Viking, 2007. Lissy is the shy new girl at school and the other kids ignore her. At lunch, as she sits by herself, Lissy makes an origami crane to keep her company, and soon her many paper friends connect her to human friends. (PB)

book cover

My Name Is Bilal by Asma Mobin-Uddin, illustrated by Barbara Kiwak. Boyds Mills Press, 2005.  Bilal and his sister Ayesha move to a new school where they are harassed because they are Muslim.

book cover

Nappy Hair by Carolivia Herron, illustrated by Joe Cepeda.  Dragonfly Books/Alfred A. Knopf, 1997. At a big family picnic, Uncle Mordecai lets Brenda know just how special her nappy hair is.

book cover Not So Tall For Six by Dianna Hutts Aston, illustrator Frank W. Dormer

Kylie Bell is the "not-so-tallest one in the first grade," but she handles it really well even when the new bully boy, Rusty, lurks over her. In her mind Kylie Bell is "brave and smart and big at heart" and even Rusty cannot resist and becomes a friend.

Kids with such a strong self-concept rarely stay a target for long. What I love about this story is readers will understand that being short is not a deficit, and new kids can be won over.
Charlesbridge, 2010. P/B

book cover

Odd Velvet by Mary E. Whitcomb, illustrated by Tara Calahan King. Chronicle Books LLC, 1998. Other students see Velvet as odd, until they slowly get to know her and understand her “odd” is fun.

book cover

One Dad Two Dads, Brown Dad, Blue Dads by Johnny Valentine, illustrated by Melody Sarecky. Alyson Wonderland, 1994. Lou explains that though his two dads are blue, they can do everything that any other dad can do.

book cover

Pinduli by Janell Cannon. Harcourt, 2004. Pinduli, a young striped hyena, suffers the attitudes of those animals who feel superior.

book cover

Pinky and Rex and the Bully by James Howe. illustrated by Melissa Sweet. Aladdin Paperbacks, 1996. Pinky learns that even if pink is his favorite color and his best friend is a girl named Rex, the school bully doesn’t have any right to pick on him.

book cover

The Playground Problem by Margaret McNamara, illustrated by Mike Gordon. New York: Aladdin Paperbacks, 2004.  During first grade recess, the boys play soccer, but when Emma asks if she can play, the boys all agree that girls cannot play soccer. Emma is furious, but that night her dad helps her come up with a plan. The next day, Emma and the girls play soccer on their own, and soon the boys realize girls and boys can play on the same team.

book cover

Please Don't Tease Tootsie by Margaret Chamberlain. New York: Dutton Children's Books / Penguin Young Readers, 2008. This very simple picture book warns not to tease animals and suggests much nicer ways to treat them.

book cover

Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell, illustrated by David Catrow. Putnam, 2001. Molly Lou is the tiniest child ever, but her grandmother taught her to believe in herself. When she transfers to a new school this giant-sized spirit makes friends with everyone, even the school bully.

book cover

The Duke Who Outlawed Jelly Beans and Other Stories by Johnny Valentine, illustrated by Lynette Schmidt. Alyson Wonderland, 1991. This fairy tale collection has five stories, each contains at least one gay character.

book cover

The Recess Queen by Alexis O’Neill. illustrated by Laura Huliske-Beith. Scholastic Press, 2002. Mean Jean rules the playground until teeny-tiny Katie Sue shows up. Before she can learn Mean Jean’s playground rules, Katie Sue offers friendship.

book cover

Ugly Duckling by Hans Christian Andersen. This classic story shows the struggles of a young duckling who is outcast by those who raised him, but then grows up to be a beautiful swan.

book cover

Wings by Christopher Myers. Scholastic Press, 2000. Everyone thinks Ikarus Jackson’s wings are ugly except for one quiet girl who finds her voice to tell Ikarus his wings are beautiful.

Back to Books by Grade Level list

home / grade level / picture book