Scary Mary by Paula Bowles

Scary Mary rules the barnyard. She scares the other animals away. She hogs all the sunflower seeds. She builds a fort to keep the others out. She soon discovers, however, that being scary is very lonely.

In this zany book written and illustrated by Paula Bowles, young readers find a bully of a bird learning a valuable lesson. While we don’t know why Scary Mary acts as she does, we are treated to seeing how happy and playful the barnyard becomes once all the animals are friends. Scary Mary could be used as a springboard for short parent/child discussions about the possibilities of why Scary Mary acts the way she does, which could provide children with insight into bullies they might meet in real life. I also like the way Bowles has Scary Mary being the one to go to the other animals after she has scared them off and asking them to play. The reader sees Scary Mary knows she’s wrong and takes the first step toward making things right.

I love Bowles’s artwork for this book. It is similiar in style to that of Betsy Lewin in many of Doreen Cronin’s books. It’s outlandish. It’s big. Just like Scary Mary is at the beginning. This is a fun book with a fabulous message. I highly recommend it.

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  • Hardcover:24 pages
  • Publisher:Tiger Tales (March 1, 2012)
  • ISBN-10:1589251105
  • ISBN-13: 978-1589251106
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