Marlene, Marlene, Queen of MeanBook - 2014
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“Marlene, Marlene, the queen of the mean, was known for being quite cruel.”
And this was not a good thing … but it was true. For although Marlene was small in stature, she was very intimidating. In fact, she was a bully. She scowled and glared; she yelled; she pinched and kicked and played mean tricks. She was the “self-proclaimed queen” of the classroom, the playground, the school and the sidewalk!
That was the situation until the day when a fellow student, Freddy, stood up to Marlene and said, “You’re just a bully!” Turning to the other students, he explained, “We cringe and we cower and give her our power because we all think she’s in charge.”
From that moment the other students realized that Marlene wasn’t so scary after all. They refused to be intimidated by her - and with the wind taken out of her sails, Marlene stopped her bullying behaviour.
The story is realistic: Marlene didn’t always find it easy to be kind after she changed her ways. Despite her efforts, she sometimes slipped up.
Can there ever be enough children’s stories about dealing with mean kids and bullying? Not likely, but this one will prove to be a valuable tale on that topic.
Told in an appealing rhyming text, Marlene, Marlene, Queen of the Mean is the first picture book by Jane Lynch, also known the actress who has won an Emmy for her role as a bully (Sue Sylvester) in the television show Glee. Co-written by clinical psychologist Lara Embry and children’s book editor A.E. Mikesell, this story – excellent for reading aloud and for starting a discussion about bullying - has been illustrated with the expressive, amusing art of Tricia Tusa.
** Recommended for ages 4 to 7 years.
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