Reviews for Thomas the Toadilly Terrible Bully

"ForeWord Magazine Reviews 2014 - Spring Issue: March 1, 2014"

Dressed to impress with a bowtie and vest, Thomas's vanity makes making friends hard, so he works at being a bully instead, learning a valuable lesson about friendship and self-image. Each page of his story brings laughs and suspense as Thomas and his warty peers scamper over their lush environment, produced through vivid oranges, greens, and browns, and littered with atmospheric mushrooms and blooming pond flowers. Ages four to seven.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2014 Fall
After his attempts to score cool points fail, new-toad-in-town Thomas sets his sights on being a bully, figuring it will win him popularity; it doesn't. Instead, he tries friendship, tricking a true bully into leaving a little toad alone. Humor abounds here, but Thomas is no stooge: the studied acrylics make vivid the evolution of his thinking.

Kirkus Reviews 2013 December #2
The serious topic of bullying gets a light treatment in this tale of limited social skills and accidental friendship. The brisk introduction of Thomas, a newcomer to town, may leave readers, like his new acquaintances, cold. Cocky, pushy and clearly impatient, Thomas quickly decides that if his first approach doesn't work, he'll "be a bully instead." Unfortunately, he's just not cut out for the role. In what feels like an almost obligatory humorous pose, Thomas is shown peering into a mirror wearing only his tighty whities and bemoaning his flabby abs. Frustrated and determined, Thomas waits for someone truly puny to pick on only to discover that another, much bigger bully has gotten there first. Put into the position of defending young Gomer (and himself), Thomas thinks fast and deflects the danger. Paintings in acrylics on gessoed paper have a pleasingly textural look, well-suited to the warty characters and woodland setting. Bright pops of blue, purple and red contrast with the mossy greens and browns that dominate many of the illustrations. The appearance of a bug-eyed fly throughout provides additional interest. Unfortunately, none of this quite manages to compensate for the slim storyline and pat resolution. Like Thomas himself, Levy seems intent on sabotaging her own effort to connect and find a warm welcome. (Picture book. 4-7) Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Reviews 2014 February

K-Gr 2--Thomas is new in town, and he tries hard to make new friends. Really hard. He struts his stuff in fancy clothes, and is determined to be the center of attention. Unfortunately, the other toads just ignore him. He hates being ignored, so he decides he'll be a bully instead. Alas, he's not a particularly good one. With his weak voice and flabby abs, he scares no one. Practicing scary faces and telling mean jokes doesn't help much either. Then he meets Gomer, a nerdy-looking toad with large, round glasses. Thomas's tactics make Gomer cry, or so it seems. However, there's a bigger, "baddest-to-the-bone" bully lurking behind Gomer, and he has been after Gomer all day long. Now, the bully has two victims, and Thomas must think fast to save them both. In the end, he learns that he may not be a very effective bad guy, but he is a pretty good friend. The illustrations are done with acrylics on paper prepared with Gesso. This method provides a cracklelike background for the artwork, which is rendered in earth tones of orange, brown, red, and green. This picture book is suitable for an introductory lesson on relationships or against bullying. A satisfactory work but not "toadilly" a knockout.--Roxanne Burg, Orange County Public Library, CA

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