This is A. Blob

L. A. Kefalos
Laughing Leopard Press

I get to review children’s and young adult books from time to time, in the hopes of finding works that are a good match to the mission of No Such Thing as a Bully.

This is a bit different of a children’s book from the kind I’ve been used to:

  • its production is very high-quality: hard-bound and thick pages
  • a short book, in keeping with short attention spans
  • a book that sets up for a sequel, and (we hope) entices kids to imagine where the story goes

The title character is a blob shaped like a purple cherry cordial, with snail-eyes on stalks. But the character’s appearance is to an extent secondary to its behavior, bullying all others on the playground. This behavior is rewarded the way it often is: no friends.

Will A. Blob ever learn that ooze doesn’t make friends stick? Let’s see what happens next.

Central to No Such Thing as a Bully is that we dismiss the concept of labeling others, especially children, as “bully” or “victim.” We all have it in ourselves to behave as a bully or a victim at any time, depending on what’s going on and how we respond to it.

But central to “This is A. Blob” is that the main character has labeled himself. “A lonely purple gob.” No friends; nothing to do but play catch against a wall. And although we are asked to “see what happens next,” it is apparent that A. Blob himself wonders if anything can ever be different. Or better.

It seems likely that kids, hoping for a happy ending, will root for A. Blob to change. And that change is of a kind that No Such Thing as a Bully believes in with all our strength: showing kindness, welcoming others into our lives, having gratitude. And seeing change, by degrees. We can see our message fitting in with the A. Blob sequel. And we look forward to it with anticipation – and hope to work with author Kefalos somewhere down the road.

Check out our review of Storad, Fang and Stinger!