The Incredible Shrinking Bully

The Incredible Shrinking Bully - Mona Schmitt This is the story of Bart, an average boy who used to love school until it was taken over by "Frank the Tank", a bully. Frank, on numerous occasions, had singled Bart out and bullied him in front of his friends. And each time Frank had grown taller while Bart had become shorter. Bart is forced to live in fear of “Frank the Tank” and going to school lost its charm. Then one day, Frank targets one of his friends which angers Bart even more. He decides that he had had enough of Frank’s bullying and stands up to Frank in defence of his friend. And Lo! Behold!! Frank grew smaller while Bart felt taller. Taking strength from Bart’s courage, other kids join ranks with him. Slowly, as they stood up to him, they all felt taller and realized that Frank was no longer like a “tank” but more like a “mouse”.

The best part about this book is that the emotions are depicted in a manner that makes its presence very evident and is also easy for the children to understand. For instance, how Bart feels when Frank first arrives at school and starts to bully him. Or, how scared Bart is when he finally decides to stand up to Frank. Also, the accompanying illustrations are very colourful and attention grabbing.

It has a very valuable lesson to teach to the kids. By being scared of bullies, they actually hand over the power to them. And by standing up to bullies, they actually take that power away leaving the bullies just as helpless. Also, that there’s strength in numbers. At the end of the book there are some points listed that can help start a conversation with the kids and help them understand better.

Genuinely, this is a must read for all the kids – the potential bullies and the potential victims. In fact, I think that even a few grown-ups could do with a read through. After all, it is not just kids who bully and get bullied! [Yes! I am talking about that particular colleague at workplace whose work invariably lands up on your desk!!  ]