Warts 'n' All: Thomas the Toadily Terrible Bully by Janice Levy
THOMAS WAS NEW IN TOWN. HE DRESSED TO IMPRESS.
HE STRUTTED HIS STUFF. HE GOT IN EVERYONE'S FACES.
Undoubtedly, Thomas is nattily attired, in his purple bowtie and dotted waistcoat, but it's hard to be a dapper dandy when nobody is impressed.
IF I CAN'T MAKE FRIENDS," HE THOUGHT, "I'LL BE A BULLY INSTEAD."
Thomas tries another tack at making an impression on his peers. He swaggers. He glowers. Although he tries to carry off being toadily tough, he can't even dominate poor wimpy little Gomer. Being bad to the bone is apparently way beyond Thomas' range.
But while Thomas is trying to intimidate Gomer, they both hear a bellow.
Now that's a BULLY!
He's bigger than big, and little Gomer begins to whimper.
"HE'S BEEN AFTER ME ALL DAY!"
Thomas may be toadily terrible as a bully, but he can think fast, and he uses his wits to trick this Truly Terrible Toad with one of the oldest ruses in the book, in Janice Levy's latest, Thomas the Toadilly Terrible Bully (Erdman Books, 2014). Illustrators Bill Storm and Esperanca Melo make the most of this turn-the-tables-on-the-bully storyline, using crackly toad-textured layers of paper and paint to provide plenty of eye-appeal to this toadish trickster tale, which leaves the real bully sputtering and toadily all wet and Thomas and Gomer bonding as toadily terrific friends. Pair this one with Anna Dewdney's best-selling Llama Llama and the Bully Goat (see review here) for an alternate take on taking care of a bully.