Good Egg and Bad Apple, by Henry Herz/Illustrated by Luke Graber, (Sept. 2018, Schiffer Publishing), $16.99, ISBN: 9780764356032
Bad Apple is a bully. He taunts all the other food, and his Second Banana – a literal banana – is right there, egging him on (no pun intended. Okay, maybe a little). Good Egg stands his ground and when the bullies start on him, Egg pulls the one weapon out of his arsenal that he thinks has a chance of working: he tells Apple a joke. Sure enough, the humor eases the tension, and Apple joins Egg’s group of friends.
Good Egg and Bad Apple is a fable of sorts, with food standing in to teach kids about bullying and why some bullies do it. In this case, the bully was bullied – sour grapes called Bad Apple names – and as the old saying goes, “hurt people hurt people”. Egg tried to reason with his bully, and it worked. It’s a perfect situation in a perfect world, but if it stops one kid from bullying another, I’ll take it.
The author also uses puns and idioms throughout the story. a glossary at the end explains both forms of speech and provides a list of wordplay used in the story, like “Let us help him”, a quote from Lettuce. The full-page artwork gives the food exaggerated expressions, with large, expressive eyes and wide open mouths (bad guys have a single tooth, to look like quintessential tough guys). Good Egg and Bad Apple works as an additional purchase for morality and bullying collections.