"Arthur's April Fool" is a story that brings up the topic of bullying in school. Since Arthur is a cartoon aardvark in third grade, the bullying behavior that his tormentor Binky Barnes directs toward him is not graphic and mainly involves intimidation. Binky takes Arthur's pen. He threatens to "pulverize" Arthur.
Despite Arthur's friends' sticking up for him, Arthur nevertheless resorts to weight lifting to try to defend himself, but nevertheless has nightmares.
At school, there is an assembly and a talent show. Arthur performs a magic show and asks for a volunteer. Binky jumps on stage.
The resolution is clever and gentle, and Arthur relies more on his brains than brawn to defend himself.
I appreciate Marc Brown addressing the issue of bullying for young children. As we all know, bullying can occur at very young ages, even in preschool. Children need to recognize that bullying is not the victim's fault, and that parents and teachers can help. They need to know that they are not alone. They can have some measure of control. Thank you, Mr. Brown.