About the Book
Molly Lou Melon is short, clumsy, has buck teeth and a loud voice. David
Catrow's hilarious depiction of Molly Lou is of a girl who has a face
only a mother could love. However, during the first part of the book,
Molly is armed with the encouraging words of her grandmother as to how
special her unique qualities are. This serves her well when she must
move to a new school and faces the school bully. Bolstered by the words
of her grandmother, Molly bests the bully at every turn and wins the
bully over to how special she truly is. Patty Lovell has created a modern-day
fable about the beauty of believing in yourself and in Molly Lou has
given us a heroine who reminds all of us to "stand tall" when faced
with people who doubt our abilities. This message is accentuated by
the colorful, vivid illustrations that lend just the right touch of
humor and zest to the story! A truly remarkable book about the power
of positive thought.
Set the Stage
A perfect book to initiate discussion of character, self-esteem, bullying
and the power of positive thought, initiate dialog with your students
by asking them to name something about themselves that they like…something
they think they are good at…something that is unique about them. After
responses, ask them such questions as …what does it mean to be proud
of yourself? Tell them that in today's story they are going to meet
a very unique, interesting little girl. Ask them to listen for characteristics
about what she looks like, and what it is about her that is special.
Also, tell them to listen for what "advice" (this may need to be defined
for younger students) she gets from her beloved grandmother.
Review the Book
When your students have finished reading/listening to Stand Tall,
Molly Lou Melon, use these questions to initiate discussion about
What did Molly Lou Melon do when Ronald Durkin called her "Bucky-Tooth
What advice did Molly Lou Melon take from her Grandma?
Did her Grandma's advice help Molly Lou Melon at her new school?
How do you know?
Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon touches upon the importance of Character
Education by reinforcing the fact that it's very possible for a person
to have unusual qualities and still have a healthy amount of self-esteem.
Discuss this with your students by pointing out that personal differences
make each person unique and special. You can further explain this idea
by reminding them that even though Ronald Durkin teases her, Molly Lou
Melon shows him that she can do neat things with her different qualities.
For this activity,
have your students circle the correct answer and then fill in the blank.
Afterward, ask them to think of their own unique and special qualities
and write them in the box provided.
and Copy the Classroom Activity Now (PDF)
For more on Character Development, see these related resources.
Learn with Clifford how to believe in your self.
Find out more about
teaching character and values in this article from Instructor Magazine.
Check out this
interview withThomas Lickona, Ph.D., on Character Development from Early
Find out more
David Catrow in the Authors and Books section of our site.