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The Meanest Thing to Say: Little Bill Books for Beginning Readers Hardcover – September 1, 1997


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100%20Children%27s%20Books%20to%20Read%20in%20a%20Lifetime

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 and up
  • Series: Oprah's Book Club
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic; 1 edition (September 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0590137549
  • ISBN-13: 978-0590137546
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.2 x 6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,778,586 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Oprah Book Club® Selection, December 1997: What would you say if someone told you you smelled like an old egg salad? Little Bill learns from his father that "So?" may be the best retort. This contribution to well-known comedian Bill Cosby's Little Bill series for beginning readers tackles the challenge of not only outsmarting mean-spirited bullies, but understanding them, too. The book begins when a new boy named Michael Reilly comes to Little Bill's class. At recess he suggests a game called "Playing the Dozens," where you get 12 chances to say something mean to a person, and the meanest insult wins.

As Little Bill spends the night agonizing about what prize-winning insults he can concoct for the next day's game, his father teaches him a sidestep maneuver that ends up diffusing the situation completely. If for some reason you miss this important lesson (your child certainly won't!), Clinical Professor of Psychiatry Alvin F. Poussaint's introduction provides a full analysis of peace-through-situation-deflation and how bullies are lonely and insecure. Early readers will welcome the large type and spacious format of the Little Bill books, enhanced by Varnette P. Honeywood's flat, vivacious, boldly colorful illustrations. (Ages 5 to 8)

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3. Cosby turns his hand to writing, telling stories about situations that children often face. In The Best Way to Play, Little Bill, the narrator, and his friends get caught up in the excitement and marketing of their favorite TV cartoon, Space Explorers, and desperately want their parents to buy them the expensive video game. They become bored with it quickly, however, and realize that it's more fun to play Space Explorers outside. In The Meanest Thing to Say, Little Bill comes face to face with a bully. The Treasure Hunt takes him on a voyage of self-exploration. It seems to him that everyone in his family has a special quality. After a full day of searching, he discovers that his is "telling stories and making people laugh." These titles feature short chapters, making them appropriate for beginning readers?but they're also short enough to be read aloud. Honeywood's illustrations are bright and eye-catching, and show Little Bill and his friends and family as having distinctive personalities and characteristics. Each book comes with a letter to parents from a child psychiatrist about the subject matter in that book. While the writing is nothing extraordinary, Cosby has a good grasp of the issues and how the world looks through children's eyes. The primarily African-American characters also make these books welcome additions to easy-reader collections.?Dina Sherman, Brooklyn Children's Museum, NY
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Now I read this book to my second grade students every year.
D. Patterson
This is a great way to teach your child how to react to a bully or any other mean kid or mean comment.
PheartsJ
Unfortunately it is reality that children can be very mean and hurtful.
Soaring Heart

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Soaring Heart on March 14, 2007
Format: Paperback
The Meanest Thing To Say is not about saying mean things back to mean people. And it isn't even about mean people. What it IS about is children learning self-control, level-headedness and heart. When the new kid, Michael, calls Little Bill names, and says he has to think of the meanest things to say back the next day, Bill is frustrated and anxious. This comes up at home and his dad tells him to just say, "So?" to everything. Little Bill does this and it halts Michael. It takes two people to fight. But the moral of the story doesn't stop here. Bill observes Michael is a new student and maybe just needs a friend. So he invites him to play basketball with him and they become friends.

Unfortunately it is reality that children can be very mean and hurtful. As parents, we need to teach our children how to handle bullies and it's equally as important to teach them not to BE a bully. Also, just ignoring mean actions and words doesn't always work. Everyone has good in them and we all, ages 2-102 need to offer kindness instead of anger. Great job, Cosby! Thank you and please keep writing. Peace & Soar!o8E
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Sherall on February 11, 2000
Format: Paperback
I would like to thank Bill and Varnette for the great work they have done. My son was having problems reading until we bought this book at a Book Fair. My son is 8 years old and loves reading know thanks to the wonderful job that Mr. Bill Cosby has done. Also he was having problems with teasing at school. But know he realize that teasing someone is very mean and that is can hurt them in the long run. Once again I would like to thank Bill and Varnette for the wondeful job they are doing. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 25, 1998
Format: Paperback
MY SON WANTS THIS STORY READ TO HIM EVERY NIGHT....AND HE KNOWS EXACTLY WHAT TO SAY WHEN HE IS TOLD SOMETHING MEAN...SO, I RECOMMEND THIS BOOK FOR KIDS AND ADULTS!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By S. A. Farley on March 11, 2001
Format: School & Library Binding
I discovered this book when seeking children's books about dealing with bullies. I was very pleased with this book. I especially like how Little Bill's father demonstrated a clever way to handle the bully by simply saying "So?" to anything he said.
With recent disturbing events of school shootings, it's important for parents to teach their chilren peaceful alternatives in dealing with bullies. Mr. Cosby's story is a fairly normal and benign story of a school yard bully, but his solution is clever and non-violent.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Gina A. Thornbrough on March 3, 2006
Format: Paperback
I was looking for a book to help my 9 year-old deal with other kids who say cruel and demeaning things. My son and I sat down and read the book together and then discussed how saying "so" when mean things are said takes away the bullies power. We decided that "so" was his new secret weapon.

My son was so excited when the very next day at school he used his secret weapon and it worked. He has also shared the book with a few of his classmates and it has helped them too.

GREAT BOOK!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on February 1, 2006
Format: Paperback
I like this book because it's like my cousin and me. My favorite part is when the dad is saying, "So, so, soooo?"

I really like this book. This book is worth buying. This book is better than buying a 99 cent candy at the store.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Reginald H. Henderson on February 2, 1998
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a good book. It's pretty and fun and helps kids learn how to respond to mocking.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By TheRAWKidzReview on June 27, 2003
Format: Paperback
Little Bill is faced with a dilemma. Michael, a new kid at school, has invented a new game called "Playing the Dozens". The winner of the game is the person who can say the meanest things about others. Little Bill does not like the game and finds a unique way to play without hurting others.
Young children can relate to the message of this story and its colorful illustrations. The book instills morals, values, and teaches the lesson that saying mean things and name-calling can hurt others. The story also presents an excellent way kids can cope with being called names in addition to showing how to amicably deal with a bully.
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