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.
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.See all Editorial Reviews
This book really held my kids' attention all the way through, and the lesson was terrific. Since I have all boys, I have to give lots of talks about them treating eachother kindly... Read morePublished 4 months ago by JMOG
The author gives kids strategies to help them realize that they are not helpless in a given situation. Read morePublished 18 months ago by kreilly
King of the Playground, by Phyllis R Naylor, hits the nail on the head for younger children (grades K-3) who are bullied on the playground at recess time. Read morePublished on March 25, 2013 by D. E. Martin
It is important to me that my son learn how to problem solve and handle things on his own. This book shows how the boy's father enabled him to think through the bully's threats and... Read morePublished on February 9, 2012 by Rachel A Donais
I like the way the father helps his son figure out that the other boy is probably all bluster. I also like that the son is able to use those ideas to come up with his own solution. Read morePublished on January 29, 2011 by Mother of Two