Cover image for The Recess Queen / by Alexis O'Neill ; illustrated by Laura Huliska-Beith.
Title:
The Recess Queen / by Alexis O'Neill ; illustrated by Laura Huliska-Beith.
ISBN:
9780439206372
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Scholastic, [2002]

©2002
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : colour illustrations ; 29 cm
Abstract:
Mean Jean is the biggest bully on the school playground until a new girl arrives and challenges Jean's status as the Recess Queen.
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Summary

Summary

A fresh & original twist on the common issue of bullying. Kids will relate, & parents & teachers will appreciate the story's deft handling of conflict resolution (which happens w/o adult intervention)

Mean Jean was Recess Queen
and nobody said any different.
Nobody swung until Mean Jean swung.
Nobody kicked until Mean Jean kicked.
Nobody bounced until Mean Jean bounced.
If kids ever crossed her, she'd push 'em and smoosh 'em
lollapaloosh 'em, hammer 'em, slammer 'em
kitz and kajammer 'em.
Until a new kid came to school!
With her irrepressible spirit, the new girl dethrones the reigning recess bully by becoming her friend in this infectious playground romp.


Author Notes

ALEXIS O'NEILL's all-time favorite game at recess was kickball. She also loved kick-the-can, hide-and-seek, and red rover, but she wasn't fond of dodge ball (ouch!). Alexis is grateful for the loyal, true-blue friends she has in her life. She lives in Southern California with her best, best friend (who has never ever been her worst best friend)--her husband, David, a computer wiz who makes her laugh.

LAURA Huliska-Beith was an enthusiastic "hopper" in the schoolyard, where she was often found playing hopscotch and jumping rope. A not-so-big kid, and now a not-so-big grown up, Laura lives in Kansas City, Missouri, with her four best, best friends (yes, she believes you can have four best, best friends): her husband Jeff, and their three dogs Roxy, Chloe, and Jake.


Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

A schoolyard bully is enlightened by the new kid in class in this lively story about the power of kindness and friendship. "Mean Jean was Recess Queen/ and nobody said any different," the tale begins. Each day at recess, Mean Jean blasts through the playground and her cowering classmates so that she can kick, swing and bounce before anyone else. No one dare cross her path: "She'd push 'em and smoosh 'em, lollapaloosh 'em." But when tiny Katie Sue, a new student, arrives, all bets are off. Unaware of the playground hierarchy, the new girl enthusiastically kicks, swings and bounces before the Recess Queen gets the chance. Her role usurped, Mean Jean moves toward a meltdown, until Katie Sue makes her an offer she finds difficult to refuse: an invitation to play together. O'Neill's (Loud Emily) text brims with fun-to-say phrases that fit a rollicking rhythm, and her assessment of recess dynamics feels authentic. Huliska-Beith's (The Book of Bad Ideas) memorable Jean busts out of the pages, all sneer, bluster and freckles. Swirling perspectives in the gouache-and-collage artwork provide a sense of movement and largesse. And humorous details, such as steam coming from Mean Jean's ears, or her bouncing another child like a ball, playfully convey the underlying drama of the situation. Ages 3-7. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Horn Book Review

Mean Jean rules the schoolyard until a feisty, diminutive newcomer, Katie Sue, invites her to help break in a new jump rope, and the bully learns that being a tyrant is overrated. Though the rhyme is irregular, the language in this manic democracy lesson is lively (sheÆd push æem and smoosh æem, / lollapaloosh æem), and Huliska-Beith uses acrylics and collage to capture the power struggles from appropriately lofty perspectives. From HORN BOOK Fall 2002, (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.