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King of the Playground Paperback


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King of the Playground + The Recess Queen + The Juice Box Bully: Empowering Kids to Stand Up For Others
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 310L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (January 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780689718021
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689718021
  • ASIN: 0689718020
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 7.8 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #136,351 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 2-- Sammy, self-proclaimed ``King of the Playground,'' will not let Kevin play on the swings, slide, or monkey bars. Fortunately, Kevin's father, who believes that words are stronger than fists, subtly suggests ways to best the bully, and a friendship between the two boys begins. There are several admirable touches here: the relationship between son and father (shown making soup, washing the car, digging in the garden--no mother is mentioned); the typical reactions of the boys to one another; and the father's humor and gentleness. Malone's pictures are reminiscent of Lillian Hoban's illustrations for Miriam Cohen's ``First Grade'' stories (Greenwillow), with their subdued colors, rumpled T-shirts, and heads just a little too large for the bodies. Kevin, the creatures of his imagination, and Sammy could belong to the same class. A warm, comforting story with a smart solution to a childhood problem. --Suzanne Wolfe, formerly at Shady Side Academy Junior School, Pittsburgh
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

Each day Kevin presents himself at the playground, only to be ousted by Sammy's threats (``...he'll dig a hole so deep I'll never get out''); each day Dad mildly points out that Sammy's fierce notions are impractical (``And what would you be doing while Sammy was tying you up? Just sitting there?''), helping Kevin to realize that he's not helpless (``...while Sammy was nailing one door shut, we could walk out the other''). Finally, Kevin gets up his courage and counters Sammy's threats with an imaginative--and logical--verbal exchange. Then, to Sammy's ultimate outlandish threat, Kevin says simply, ``Try it''--and the two settle down to play in the sandbox together. Naylor brings wit and good sense to this model exercise in problem solving and conflict resolution. Malone's characters are suitably lively and expressive; her imaginary scenes are differentiated by slightly muted colors. Entertaining and salutory. (Picture book. 4-8) -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

I guess I've been writing for about as long as I can remember. Telling stories, anyway, if not writing them down. I had my first short story published when I was sixteen, and wrote stories to help put myself through college, planning to become a clinical psychologist. By the time I graduated with a BA degree, however, I decided that writing was really my first love, so I gave up plans for graduate school and began writing full time.

I'm not happy unless I spend some time writing every day. It's as though pressure builds up inside me, and writing even a little helps to release it. On a hard-writing day, I write about six hours. Tending to other writing business, answering mail, and just thinking about a book takes another four hours. I spend from three months to a year on a children's book, depending on how well I know the characters before I begin and how much research I need to do. A novel for adults, because it's longer, takes a year or more. When my work is going well, I wake early in the mornings, hoping it's time to get up. When the writing is hard and the words are flat, I'm not very pleasant to be around.

Getting an idea for a book is the easy part. Keeping other ideas away while I'm working on one story is what's difficult. My books are based on things that have happened to me, things I have heard or read about, all mixed up with imaginings. The best part about writing is the moment a character comes alive on paper, or when a place that existed only in my head becomes real. There are no bands playing at this moment, no audience applauding--a very solitary time, actually--but it's what I like most. I've now had more than 120 books published, and about 2000 short stories, articles and poems.

I live in Bethesda, Maryland, with my husband, Rex, a speech pathologist, who's the first person to read my manuscripts when they're finished. Our sons, Jeff and Michael, are grown now, but along with their wives and children, we often enjoy vacations together in the mountains or at the ocean. When I'm not writing, I like to hike, swim, play the piano and attend the theater.

I'm lucky to have my family, because they have contributed a great deal to my books. But I'm also lucky to have the troop of noisy, chattering characters who travel with me inside my head. As long as they are poking, prodding, demanding a place in a book, I have things to do and stories to tell.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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I have a 6 year old daughter who is very loving and friendly.
jaybird915
Great lesson, well taught, and what kid couldn't use tips on how to deal with bullying.
Rem
I lent mine to a colleague, never got it back, so I purchased a second one!
D. E. Martin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 23, 1998
Format: Hardcover
As a Kindergarten teacher I make a point to read this book every year to my students, to show them that a scary or seemingly hopeless situation can result in a good friendship with a little perservernce and creativity. I like the fact that the Dad was a good source of support for the child, and that the Dad is shown working outside and inside the house in some non-traditional roles. Buoyed by his father's support, Kevin returns to the playground, always trying new ways to secure a spot on the playground. Children need more tools like this for resolving conflict in a non-violent manner.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 3, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This book will definitely appeal to many children, especially those who may be dealing with a bully. Everyday Kevin walks to the neighborhood playground in hope of having great fun. But each day, without failure, a boy named Sammy is there. Whenever Kevin approaches a piece of equipment, Sammy will say he can not go on it because he is the "King of the Playground" then threatens to hurt Kevin if he does not listen. Together, Kevin and his father discuss what Sammy is doing to Kevin, and they work through the difficult situation. Soon Kevin gains enough confidence to stand up for himself, and does with remarkable results! I enjoyed seeing how Kevin could open up to his father and how they, together worked out the problem. The understandable text and colorful illustrations flow together smoothly, and add a great deal of feeling to the plot.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By BeatleBangs1964 TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 13, 2005
Format: Paperback
Kevin yearns to play on the playground equipment in his neighborhood, but a bully named Sam won't let him. He proclaims himself "King of the Playground" and threatens Kevin with bodily harm if Kevin dare use any of the play equipment.

Kevin wisely takes his problem to his father. I like the way father and son interacted and I like the bond between them. That made a good story even better. Kevin's father makes gentle suggestions to the boy about what he thinks might work with Sam; he tells him that "words are stronger than fists." By using his analytical and reasoning skills, Kevin in time befriends Sam and the boys as well as other children enjoy the playground in peace.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By S. Kameny on November 2, 2004
Format: Paperback
I like this book because it helped my son to recognize a bully before he hit the kindergarten playground. It opened the door to discuss how to deal with kids that are less than nice when there is no grown up around.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By K. Volz on March 29, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought the book because my 4-year-old son had been on the receiving end of some of the unfriendly behaviors that are the basis of the book. My son loves the book. Aside from the fact that he gets the author's premise (reasoning rather than reacting), he just genuinely enjoys it. He laughs out loud at some of the situations in the book. It didn't trigger the meaningful discussion I'd hoped we'd have about bullies (unbridled parental optimism on my part there!), but it's made for a lot of fun bedtime reads.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful By R.D. on December 15, 2008
Format: Paperback
In the course of this story, the author and illustrator graphically depict a series of terrible acts of violence that the bully is threatening to carry out against his victim. Given the high numbers of child victims of violence in schools today, this book serves as more of a trauma trigger about past acts of violence than as an aide to learning.

If we were teaching teens in a dating violence prevention program, would we demonstrate the steps involved in acts of assault? Obviously not. This is not an appropriate strategy to use in teaching young children about bullying either.

I strongly question the developmental appropriateness of this book for any children of elementary school age or younger, and it is especially inappropriate for child victims of violence. Given the statistics on child witnesses to violence, let alone victims of abuse/neglect, in the U.S., this book is completely inappropriate to be used in school settings.

Instead of this book, I would highly recommend the following anti-bullying books: My Secret Bully, Just Kidding, Sorry!, Simon's Hook; A Story About Teases and Put-downs, Our Friendship Rules, Say Something.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By MJDL on April 2, 2005
Format: Paperback
An excellent book to talk about how to deal with bullies. Written very simply for about first grade. The kids loved it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amy Prager on January 15, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bought this for my 5.5 year old. Unengaging...there are definitely better books on bullying. The concept in the book is positive.
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