In the sixth installment of Katsori’s (Loukoumi’s Cookbook, 2011, etc.) children’s book series, Loukoumi the lamb responds to a bully by following the golden rule.
Loukoumi is excited to tell her animal friends at school that her parents are expecting a new baby lamb. Her excitement is spoiled, however, when an alligator named Igor, the schoolyard bully, interrupts to mock Loukoumi’s unique name (which means “sweet” in Greek), and she’s hurt and confounded by his cruel words and actions. Fortunately, her crew of animal friends consoles her with wise words. They discuss the value of celebrating differences and individuality. Her monkey friend, Marika, explains that kindness and acceptance of others should prevail over cruelty and bullying. Throughout the day, Loukoumi follows her friends’ advice, showing Igor forgiving kindness and respect; for example, when Igor’s pencil breaks, Loukoumi happily lends him one of hers, despite Igor’s prior cruelty. Igor is surprised and positively affected by her unwavering friendliness. The book provides young readers with an example of how bullying may be overcome not with retaliation, but with kind consideration. Bright, colorful illustrations lend the book an engaging cartoon aesthetic. However, the resolution of Loukoumi’s bullying problem may seem too quick and easy, as Igor quickly transforms into an ally after just a few acts of kindness. However, the overarching theme of the story, the golden rule, is one which may be useful for young readers. The book’s accessible text and illustrations make this a good choice for beginning readers. It also comes with an audio version of the story, animatedly narrated by Nia Vardalos, writer and star of the 2002 film My Big Fat Greek Wedding, with Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman as the voice of Igor.
An engaging, cheerfully illustrated story with a classic moral.