Super Manny Stands Up! written by Kelly DiPucchio and illustrated by Stephanie Graegin is a picture book in celebration of speaking up and speaking out whenever you see acts of bullying. The star of this animal tale is Manny, a quiet little raccoon who loves wearing capes.
Manny owns six capes: a blue cape for when he feels fearless and must fight sea creatures, a red cape when he feels strong and must fight zombies, a yellow cape when he bravely takes on the evil cloud monsters, a purple cape when he must be powerful enough to match wits with alien robots and a green cape when he comes up against the forest giants. The sixth cape, however, is an invisible cape! Manny does not wear it when he’s play acting but only when he sees mean actions in the real world.
One day while the animal children are eating lunch on the playground Tall One, a pig, begins to order Small One, a hedgehog, around. The animals are all upset but not one animal says anything. When the bullying continues, Manny knows it’s time for him to act but it’s hard. He slowly stands up and quietly tells Tall One to stop it. Tall One is astonished and moves in closer and asks Manny what he said. Manny gathers his strength, bravery, power and his invisible cape and finds his loud strong voice. “I said STOP IT,”
The illustration of all the other animal children lifting their voices against the bully following Manny’s lead is heartwarming. The pictures are attractive and engaging. The end papers are full of action as Manny swings, turns summersaults and dances to the music of his courage with his new sidekick, the little hedgehog.
Super Manny Stands Up! written by Kelly DiPucchio and illustrated by Stephanie Graegin gently says whenever you see bullying put on your invisible cape of courage and speak up! Perfect for readers 4-8 years of age (Atheneum Book for Young Readers,2017).
Activities and questions for Super Manny Stand Up!
Have you ever been bullied? Where did it happen? How did it make you feel? Who tried to stop the bullying? Was it a teacher, a parent, a friend, a babysitter, a sibling or you?
Study the artist’s attractive cover for this book. Manny looks like a powerful action figure. His hands are on his hips and his red cape is flowing from his shoulders. There are many shooting stars around him. He is ready to stand up for justice. Then draw a picture of yourself as a superhero ready to speak up to stop bullying. Use your imagination and plenty of details. What color would your cape be? Would there be a name on your tee shirt? Would you have a slogan? What symbols would surround you? Have fun and also makeup a caption for your picture.
Read the book again and concentrate on Small One. Why do you think the hedgehog was singled out by the bully? Why do you think Manny chose Small One to be his sidekick? Can you make a list of superheroes and their sidekicks? Parents and grandparents can help.