Saturday, May 28, 2016

Book Review: Case Two: Big Bully Holly Howler by Elena Ashley, PHD

“To Make A Friend, You Need To Be A Friend”
Dr. Elana Ashley writes a new children’s book that addresses bullying

According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, one out of four students are bullied during the school year. Even though most bullying can be found in schools among young children, there are still bullying epidemics that adults are involved in as well. 

Throughout Dr. Elana Ashley’s career, she has been able to mentor students, teachers, and parents through multiple workshops on child abuse, drug education, character development, self-esteem, and conflict management.

Knowing how prevalent bullying is in society, Ashley decided to write “Case Two: Big Bully Holly Howler” available in both English and English/Spanish. In Ashley’s book, she focuses on the topic of bullying and how no one should handle bullies alone.

“Children will be able to understand that the answer to changing the behavior of a bully is for them to act in respectful ways and to let the other student know that he or she can become a welcome member in most situations,” Ashley said.

“Case Two: Big Bully Holly Howler,” is about Ellie Elephant who turns to her friend Splunkey for advice. During the first half of the book, Splunkey gives Ellie and her friend important ideas on how to solve her bullying issue. 
Coupled with Splunkey’s advice and her own fast thinking, Ellie makes choices that save the day.
Throughout the book, Splunkey gives Ellie and her friend important ideas on how to solve her bullying issue.
“The world needs more kind and compassionate people to reach out with ideas and strategies for making this world a better place,” Ashley said.

By reading “Case Two: Big Bully Holly Howler,” both children and adults will be intrigued by the images of Ashley’s real-life puppets, as well as the positive messaging about anti-bullying strategies and how to be the “bigger” person.

For more information, visit

“Case Two: Big Bully Holly Howler”
By: Dr. Elana Ashley
ISBN: 978-I-4808-1957-3 (HC)
Available in softcover, hardcover, e-book
Available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Archway Publishing

About the author
Dr. Elana Ashley is an author, artist, storyteller, and ventriloquist who teaches children and adults strategies for dealing with everyday issues. For more than two decades, Ashley has presented instructional and entertaining programs for students, teachers, and parents within the Chicago area, and also nationwide.

My Thoughts

The first thing that caught my eye about this book were the images in it. Instead of illustrated photos, the author uses photographs on life sized puppets. Many of them made me smile and chuckle a little, bringing a unique experience while reading the story. My kids also thought the images were quite funny.

Of course, the story itself isn't funny, but I liked that the photographs in the books helped keep the seriousness of the story not so high. Bullying has been around for a long time and as much as we wish it would go away, it isn't. Everyone has a unique personality and some of us are just made to feel better about ourselves by being mean to others until learning to deal with those feelings in another way.

In this book, Holly Howler is the bully and she often doesn't have anything nice to say. Ellie is the target of Holly's mean words and asks for an imaginary friend to help. As the story goes on, Ellie find the strength to stand up to Holly, but also becomes Holly's friend, helping her to no longer be a bully.

This book is great for a child of all ages to read. It will help them see how to deal with bullies, or if they happen to be on the bullying side, how they are hurting other kids feelings.