King of the Playground

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Author: Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

Grades: Pre-K, Kindergarten, 1st

Synopsis: Kevin loves to go to the playground, but not when Sammy is there. And Sammy, who boasts that he is King of the Playground, is there most of the time. If he catches Kevin on the swings or the slide or the monkey bars, Sammy says, he will do awful, terrible things to him. Kevin tells his dad what Sammy says and they talk it over. And then one day Kevin gets his courage up and goes to the playground even though Sammy says he can’t come in. Even though Sammy tells him to go home. Even though Sammy says he will put Kevin in a cage with bears in it. Still Kevin finds the courage to speak up for himself while starting a friendship with his former tormentor.

Debrief Questions: 

  • How did Kevin stand up to his bully?
  • Did anyone help Kevin to resolve his conflict with Sammy? Who are some people you could go to if you needed help?
  • In the beginning, Kevin didn’t feel brave or lucky. Do you think that changed by the end? Why or why not?