by Alexis O’Neil, illustrated by Laura Huliska-Beith
Ages 5-7, 32 pages
Realistic Fiction, Bullying
Mean Jean was the recess queen who controlled everything at recess. Nobody kicked or bounced a ball, until Mean Jean got there first. If anyone got in her way, she’d push them. This changed when a new student, Katie Sue, arrived at school who wasn’t intimated by Mean Jean at recess. Katie Sue was too new to know anything about Mean Jean. Mean Jean continued bullying other students at recess. Katie Sue then asked: “How did you get so bossy?” Katie Sue grabbed the ball and bounced away. Finally, Katie Sue asked Mean Jean if she’d like to jump rope: “I like ice cream, I like tea, I want Jean to jump with me!” Now, recess time is different as children play together and Jean doesn’t push or bully anyone.
Bullying is a very serious issue that unfortunately occurs and children often have difficulty handling it. I liked this book, but I had a problem with Katie Sue taking the ball and almost teasing Mean Jean that she now has the ball and nobody can stop her. Two wrongs don’t make a right. However, Katie Sue started a friendly activity when she asked her to jump rope. The Recess Queen is a good book to introduce playing fair and not bullying others.