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Geez Louise!

"Louise the stinkbug was awfully stinky.
She could count her friends on her little pinky.
Everyone scattered when she passed them.
She didn't mean to, but she gassed them..."

With only one friend, Louise sets out to prove to the other bugs that she can be lovable. But it takes a bully, an ice-skating contest, and a big dose of bravery!  English only.

Illustrated by Eric Brace
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons

* This book is out of print, but can be purchased for $8.00 plus $2.00 shipping by sending Susan an email.

Illustrations on this page are copyrighted by Eric Brace 2003.


* Listed in "Healing Stories: Picture books for the Big and Small Changes in a Child's Life", published 2006 by Jacqueline Golding, PhD

*Featured in "Picture Books: A Resource for Supporting Children's Well-Being", an article in the March/April 2009 edition of The California Psychologist:

"Stories can also give children enough distance on a stressful experience to allow them to get perspective on it, to approach their own difficult feelings and relive their own experiences in ways that lead to a sense of mastery. In stories, the stressful event happens to someone else, and it does not even always happen to another child, since many stories for small children have animals as their main character. For example, in 'Geez Louise!' a little stink buy learns how to cope with bullying. Poor Louise doesn't have very mny friends because she stinks so much. Louise wants to enter a skating contest. Kiki, a bully who teases Louise about her stinkiness, is also entering. Although Louise is terrified, she gets courage from the thought that she could show the other bugs that there's more to her than stinkiness. Kiki plugs her nose as she skates past Louise, and throws herself off blanace. Louise wins! Through Louise, readers have access to the experience of coping with bullying through trusting their own competence."-Jacqueline Golding, PhD



"PreS- Gr.2. A familiar story of friends triumphing over a bully is gussied up with a wacky setting
(a pond on which insects skate the winter away), cheerily bugged-out illustrations, breezy rhymed couplets, and an unusual, slightly gross heroine. Louise is a stinkbug whose smell repels: "Everyone scattered when she passed them./ She didn't mean to, but she gassed them." Her only pal is a termite named Tara, who encourages Louise to compete against Kiki the roach in a skating showdown. Kiki loses the contest after she loses her balance teasing Louise, who happily discovers the sweet smell of success. "To her surprise the other bugs/ unplugged their noses and gave her hugs." Brace's illustrations created with acrylic paints, a digital camera, a computer, and "some bugs the artist borrowed from his friend Claude," show a busy swarm of multicolored insects with spiffy, four-armed skating jackets. The lively scenes are further brightened by reach-out-and-touch- them textures and snowflakes that fall on every page."
--Abby Nolan

Publisher's Weekly

"In this wishful story, an unpopular stinkbug named Louise competes against a nasty cockroach in, of all things, an ice-skating contest. Louise, who resembles a red-haired girl with a stinkbug's upturned nose and antennae, plays the plucky underdog who is avoided by her fellow insects: "Everyone scattered when she passed them. / She didn't mean to, but she gassed them." Bugs hold their noses when Louise does loops around the frozen birdbath that serves as a skating rink; Kiki the cockroach, a bloated blue meanie who terrorizes everyone, loves making fun of Louise's odor. At the urging of Termite Tara, her one true friend, Louise plans to beat Kiki at skating and prove herself to her peers: "If I could win, she thought, they'd see . . ./ There's more than stinkiness to me." Elya never allows the rhyme scheme or the optimism of this narrative to waver; Louise wins easily when Kiki falls during the competition and the fickle bugs cheer that she is "cheeky. / You stood up to that bully, Kiki." Brace creates an assortment of bizarre but amiable insects with big heads, protruding eyes and noodly legs; he incorporates collage elements such as a real dragonfly and butterfly wings plus dried leaves into his acrylic compositions. Ages 4 -8." (Oct.)

The Book Review

"K-Gr 2 -- Louise the stinkbug's odor has all of the other insects avoiding her ("Everyone scattered when she passed them. / She didn't mean to, but she gassed them"). Only almost blind Termite Tara befriends her. When a skating contest is announced, the two decide Louise should enter, not to prove her skating prowess, but to defeat mean, bullying Kiki the roach. Louise emerges triumphant and the other bugs, impressed by her courage in taking on Kiki, unplug their noses and befriend her. Brace's acrylic-and-digital illustrations are whimsical and appealing."
--Grace Oliff,
Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ


Orange County Register

Stinky Stories, Sweet Lessons, by Ann Haley

If it seems like winter break was too long ago and spring break will never come, these silly, stinky and slightly subversive characters wil liven up winter for younger school-age readers. Amid the fun are positive lessons for kids and some sly humor to entertain adults who read to the youngsters.

You might like Geez Louise if: you like stories about standing up to bullies. This tale of courage and friendship is simple and short and manages to pack in three lessons for readers. Louuise the stinkbug is so smelly that the other bugs avoid her -- except Tara the termite, her only friend. Kiki the roach is the local bully. When an ice-skating contest is announced, Louise, encouraged by Tara, decides she's good enough to beat Kiki. It's easy to guess what happens at the contest, and Louise proves three things: you can stand up to a bully; you can change others' perceptions of you; and the truest friend is the one who stands with you when no one else will.


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