Portrayals of Bullying in Children’s Picture Books and Implications for Bibliotherapy

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Vol: 51, Issue: 2

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Moulton, Emily; Heath, Melissa Allen; Prater, Mary Anne; Dyches, Tina Taylor
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article description
Bullying, a serious issue in today’s schools, negatively impacts children. This article summarizes research and emphasizes the need for effective tools, such as bibliotherapy, to deter bullying. To assist professionals in selecting books for bibliotherapy, 38 bully-themed children’s K-3 picture books ranked 1- 4 by The Horn Book Guide (HBG) from January 1, 2004 through January 1, 2010 were analyzed. Comparisons were made between the selected books’ portrayals of bullying and aspects of bullying, and bully prevention described in research literature. Information was summarized, including the following details: (a) gender of bully and victim, (b) type of bullying, (c) location of bullying, (d) responses of bystanders and adults, and (e) resolution of bullying problems. Considering this descriptive information, professionals are advised to more selectively recommend books to fit the unique needs of students and encourage desired bullying resolution strategies.