________________ CM . . . . Volume XII Number 8 . . . . December 9, 2005


Dimples Delight. (Orca Echoes).

Frieda Wishinsky. Illustrated by Louise-Andrée Laliberté.
Victoria, BC: Orca, 2005.
62 pp., pbk., $6.95.
ISBN 1-55143-362-1.

Subject Headings:
Teasing-Juvenile fiction.
Bullying-Juvenile ficiton.

Grades 2-4 / Ages 7-9.

Review by Robert Groberman.

* /4


Today I will ignore Joe, I told myself all the way to school the next day.

Today, no matter what mean, gross names Joe calls me, I will be cold like an iceberg, deaf like a mummy, silent like a grave. Today I will do it!

I strode into class like a cowboy, ready to face the bad guys.

I looked around. No sign of Joe or Andrew.I bent down to toss my schoolbag in my cubby. Something greasy touched by head. It was Joe. His hair dangled above me like black spaghetti

He laughed.


internal art

Dimples Delight is the story of Lawrence, a boy who is mercilessly bullied by a classmate. The focus of the classmate’s bullying is the fact that Lawrence has dimples on his face. The bully, Joe, trips Lawrence in the classroom, then taunts him later, asking about his “little boo-boo,” in reference to Lawrence’s needing first aid after being tripped. He calls Lawrence’s lunch “girly food” because the yogurt is pink and then circles him in the lunch room, clucking and chanting that “Dimple boy is a chicken.” Lawrence’s advisor in this story is his best friend, Stewart whose strategy for dealing with a bully is to ignore him until he gets tired of bullying. Lawrence tries this. It doesn’t work. Then he tries to get rid of his dimples by not smiling. He finally solves his problem by embracing his dimples, agreeing with his bully that his dimples are very big and noticeable and useful for storing things. He even offers to help his bully to measure them.

     Bullying is an important topic in schools these days, and one would hope that a story written for young children would offer sound advice or follow a hopeful pattern. Author Frieda Wishinsky offers us a story in which the bully gets all the good lines and ultimately faces no consequences for his horrifying behaviour. After encountering a bully character who is, for a young child, monstrous, a reader wants that character to be taught a lesson. This bully is taught no lesson. The victim in this story learns to live with being bullied and ultimately receives no satisfaction.

     There are eleven chapters in this novel. Each chapter contains one illustration of events in that chapter.

Not recommended.

Robert Groberman is a grade one teacher at David Brankin Elementary, Surrey, BC.


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