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Molly Lou Melon

Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon

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Molly Lou Melon is short, clumsy, has buck teeth, and a voice that sounds like a bull-frog being squeezed by a boa constrictor... But she doesn't mind.

Her grandmother has always told her to walk proud, smile big, and sing loud, and she takes that to heart.

But then Molly Lou has to start in a new school. A horrible bully picks on her on the very first day, but Molly Lou Melon knows just what to do about that...

Patty Lovell has gotten the best advice from her mother since she was a little girl. The most important thing she ever told her was: be true to yourself. Patty has taught elementary school in Virginia, London, Harlem, and on Long Island. As of writing this book, she teaches kindergarten in Great Neck, New York, and lives in Sea Cliff. This is her first picture book.

David Catrow is the illustrator of many picture books, including How Murray Saved Christmas (2000) and two New York Times best illustrated books: She's wearing a Dead Bird on Her Head (1995) and The Cataract of Lodor (1991). He was drawn to this story because of Molly Lou's positive attitude, and the image he created was inspired by a tiny, premature baby girl named Emily Anne. Her energy and zest for life have made sure her size hasn't gotten in her way. David lives with his family in Springfield, Ohio, right next door to Emily.

32 pages, Hardcover

First published April 1, 1994

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Patty Lovell

7 books40 followers

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5 stars
9,081 (59%)
4 stars
3,661 (24%)
3 stars
1,774 (11%)
2 stars
445 (2%)
1 star
220 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,033 reviews
Profile Image for Duchess Nicole.
1,258 reviews1,547 followers
October 21, 2013
One of my kids favorite books. The moral to the story is how Molly Lou Melon is different from everyone else, but that it's okay. Wise words from Grandma encourage Molly to stand up for herself, be true to herself, smile and be happy, and never give up. This is a book that I'll keep to read to my Grand babies one day in the very far future...no Goodwill for this one! Huge five stars. Ages 4 to 94...
Profile Image for Kathryn.
4,348 reviews
November 17, 2010
What a delight! I just adore Molly Lou for her sweet self-confidence and the joy she finds in (and brings to) life. Little Molly Lou is smaller than all the other kids in her class, she has buck teeth, and can't sing a good note. But, her grandmother taught her that, if she carries herself with confidence, the world will look up to her... and if she smiles, the whole world smiles, too... And all is well and good--until the Melon family moves to a new house, and Molly Lou begins a new school. Since the students don't know her bright spirit, the bully is only too keen to tear her down based on appearances. Can Molly Lou maintain her self-confidence and maybe even win some new friends?

Since this is a children's book, it should come as no surprise that she DOES. But I absolutely love the way it plays out and the last page held a fun surprise, after all. This is a wonderful story with a clear message that is told with such charm and humor (through both the words and the delightful illustrations) that it never seems heavy-handed. I also love the celebration of nature and that Molly Lou seems such a kindred spirit with the animals. And it's nice to see a grandmother celebrated for her wonderful wisdom. Highly recommended!
Profile Image for Heidi.
1,237 reviews144 followers
April 15, 2021
As a petite, shy little girl, I can definitely relate to Molly Lou Melon.

Simple charming from start to finish.

PS - I still don’t like that Ronald Durkin!!
Profile Image for Abigail.
7,174 reviews187 followers
December 13, 2019
Despite her small stature, buck-toothed smile, croaky voice (like that of a bull-frog), and tendency toward clumsiness, Molly Lou Melon was a happy, well-adjusted, self-confident little girl. After all, her Grandma has always instructed her to walk proudly, smile big, sing out clear and strong, and believe in herself. But when she moved to a new town, leaving her old school and friends behind, she found that her idiosyncrasies had made her a target for the school bully, Ronald Durkin. Fortunately, Molly Lou had a few tricks up her sleeve, and wasn't about to allow anyone to make her a victim...

A book that seems to have won almost universal accolades from other reviewers (so many five and four-star ratings!), Molly Lou Melon was a story that I liked more in theory, and for what the author was obviously trying to accomplish, than in reality. I agree wholeheartedly with the idea that self-confidence is an important value to instill in children, and that standing up to bullies is something that should be encouraged, but something about the way this story was formulated just didn't sit well with me, the first time I read through it. Thinking about it now, and having read it again, I realize that the issue here is the implication, however unintentional, that children can solve the problem of bullying by having a "good" attitude. It's that old chestnut, "ignore it and it will go away," but in slightly different form: "be positive and proactive, and it will change."

I think that this idea - that our attitude can effect the outcome of events, and convince others to change their behavior - is certainly true in some cases. And I can see some children finding Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon very empowering. But for others, for the victims of chronic bullying and teasing (or of other kinds of abuse), this story simply doesn't ring true. I know, because I was one such child, and I can still vividly recall the experience of being ridiculed every single day at school, of being called various ugly names at least twenty times before I could go home, simply because I was too muscular "for a girl." (Apparently, girls shouldn't have more muscles than boys, even in early years when they are on different developmental tracks, and boy was I made to pay for not having the "right" body-type!) Nothing I did - ignoring the situation, answering back - in any way helped, and I simply wasn't equipped, personality-wise, to be be able to "win" peers over to my side. I've never been the passive type, so I always stood up for myself, and, being terribly proud, I made sure that all my crying was done in private. But in the end, it didn't help. Nothing did.

What's funny is that one of my teachers, who saw some of this unfold, commented, a few years afterword, that it had seemed to him that I handled myself very well (meaning that I had always stood up for myself). I think he was trying to compliment me on my "positive attitude," although perhaps he was just offering what comfort he could (hey, at least you didn't just accept it, right?), after the fact. In any case, I remember thinking at the time that addressing oneself to the victim's attitude is a terribly inadequate means of dealing with bullying. There's something almost cruel about stories like this, I think, in which a real and pressing problem is so easily dealt with. Not only will the child who is enduring this kind of treatment not find a real strategy for dealing with it, but they will also gain the impression (again, however unintentionally given) that if they were somehow different - if they had a better attitude, or a more positive self-image - they could stop this from happening.

Useful, perhaps, as a means of promoting good self-image, or as a story about light teasing, Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon is utterly inadequate, in my view, when it comes to the issue of serious bullying.
Profile Image for Lisa Vegan.
2,802 reviews1,234 followers
July 23, 2008
It turned out this was one of two books I read in one day that had the same illustrator: David Catrow, and I love his work.

This is a wonderful book for any child who’s teased or who feels different from other kids, and great for kids who need to learn to stand up for themselves.
Profile Image for Becky.
1,384 reviews1,650 followers
March 14, 2012
So I just learned about this site, We Give Books, where you can read books online, for free, and support literacy programs. Where has this site been all my life?! Obviously I signed up, and read my first book within 5 minutes. It seems that they are all children's books, which is fine with me. They are easy, cute and reading them makes a difference. Why WOULDN'T I do this?

"Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon" was cute, beautifully illustrated, and short. It's for kids aged 4-7, so the cause and effect type storytelling would probably be perfect for someone in the target audience.

Plus this has a couple great messages: Love yourself and don't let the critics get you down, and bullies never win against someone who refuses to be intimidated. A couple messages that everyone, of all ages, can do with remembering.

All in all, a lovely little story.
Profile Image for babyhippoface.
2,443 reviews135 followers
January 5, 2008
Molly Lou Melon is the cutest little eensy-weensy girl you've ever seen. She needs a ladder to climb up onto her bed. Her self-confidence, however, is bigger than Andre the Giant. No matter what ugly things that stereotypically-red-headed class bully Ronald Durkin says to her, she just grins her giant grinning grin and goes right ahead doing whatever it is she's doing, from creating the most beautiful paper snowflake ever to scoring a touchdown even though she's wearing a football helmet that comes all the way down to her navel.

You gotta love Molly Lou Melon. Gotta. Love. Her.

This is a read-aloud MUST for the first week of school.
Profile Image for Luann.
1,281 reviews118 followers
September 21, 2008
Molly Lou Melon is a spunky, fumble-fingered little first-grader with buck teeth and a voice that sounds like "a bullfrog being squeezed by a boa constrictor." She believes her grandma when she tells her things like "Walk as proudly as you can and the world will look up to you" and "Sing out clear and strong and the world will cry tears of joy." Molly Lou Melon's belief in herself is tested when the bully at her new school starts to pick on her.

David Catrow's wonderful and wacky illustrations fit the story and Molly Lou Melon's personality perfectly. My favorite is the close-up view of Molly Lou Melon smiling big so the world will smile right alongside her. Molly Lou Melon certainly never does anything by halves!

There are so many interesting and fun details in this book - in both the story and the illustrations. I noticed something new every time I read it. For example, Molly Lou Melon is never called "Molly Lou" or "Molly." She is ALWAYS "Molly Lou Melon."

My favorite part of the entire book, though, is the very last page. I don't want to spoil it for you, so you'll have to read this book to see what I'm talking about!
Profile Image for Ivonne Rovira.
1,946 reviews201 followers
May 9, 2022
Illustrator David Catrow had me from the cover, with his depiction of the elfin Molly Lou Melon. So author Patty Lovell’s story about the tiny, buck-toothed girl and her loving grandmother, who urges her to be who she is, was just icing on the cake. No matter what happens, Molly maintains her confidence and does her best. She handles a bully with the aplomb I wish I had! Children and their grownups alike will adore this picture book!
53 reviews3 followers
July 6, 2014
This is a very sweet story about being happy with yourself. This book reminds me of "I Like Myself" by Karen Beaumont (also illustrated by David Catrow). These two books could be used to compare and contrast, but could also be used for a lesson having children draw/write about things they like about themselves.
Profile Image for Slayermel.
859 reviews36 followers
June 7, 2022
This was a cute little story about Molly Lou Melon who is so very tiny, and has some very unique features that make her stand out from others. Her Grandmother gives her some great advice on how to handle comments from others and live a positive life. When Molly ends up moving to a new neighbourhood and school she discovers that all the advice her Grandmother gave her was correct.
Profile Image for T.E. Antonino.
Author 5 books153 followers
October 1, 2016
I really loved the message. Loving yourself has a big impact on how others think of you. Molly never let anyone take away her joy. Molly's inner beauty shown so great that even the haters began to see things in a more positive light.
Profile Image for Dolly.
Author 1 book649 followers
October 31, 2013
This is a terrific book that encourages children to be proud of who they are and not let bullies tear them down. We love David Catrow's books, so I was excited to read this book with our girls. Our youngest was sure that we'd already read it, but I don't remember it. Perhaps she read it at school...

The narrative is fun to read aloud, but the message is even more important. I love that Molly Lou has a close relationship with her grandmother (who is a lot like Molly Lou), and that they maintain that closeness even when Molly Lou moves away. The illustrations are fantastic, as we've come to expect from Mr. Catrow, and Molly Lou is indeed larger than life, despite her diminutive size. We really enjoyed reading this book together.
99 reviews4 followers
October 14, 2013
Title / Author / Publication Date:
Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon. / Patty Lovell. David Catrow (ill.) / 2001.

Genre: Fiction.

Format: Picturebook - print.

Plot summary:
"Even when the class bully at her new school makes fun of her, Molly remembers what her grandmother told her and she feels good about herself" (NoveList).

Considerations or precautions for readers advisory:
self-esteem, bullying, relationship with grandmothers

Review citation:
“What keeps the storytelling fresh is the crisp prose and the heroine's full-speed-ahead determination” (Publishers Weekly).

Section source used to find the material:
Best Books for Children Preschool through Grade 6 (9th ed.)

Recommended age: Ages 2 - 6.
Profile Image for Lain.
Author 13 books123 followers
June 18, 2009
If I could give this book more than five stars, I would.

We received this book as a gift, and I wasn't too sure about it because the illustrations are not my style. But I was hooked by the first couple of pages. Molly Lou Melon, a short, bullfrog-voiced, buck-toothed dynamo shows kids how to stand up for themselves and love their individuality with humor and grace.

The illustrations are full of hidden gems, the story is short and full of meaning, and kids of all ages will get a kick out of Molly Lou's antics. A must-read!
25 reviews2 followers
September 15, 2017
I adore the message in this book. I like how it gives children the confidence in themselves when it comes to their own uniqueness. I like also how their is an adult who promotes this confidence in the book that is not a parent. I think children can relate to having an adult, not necessarily a parent, give them acceptance. I chose this book because not everyone in life is going to like you, there will be Ronald's along the way. This book gives the message to be true to yourself no matter who shows up.
Profile Image for Jackie.
4,155 reviews46 followers
October 4, 2013
Even though Molly Lou Melon is small, has buck teeth, and has a voice like a horn, but Molly Lou's grandma tells her she is special and she finds a way to build her self-esteem. Then, Molly Lou moves, away from grandma, but she knows in her heart that grandma is right.

A great read-aloud book for self-esteem and bullying.
Profile Image for E.C. Kraeft.
Author 3 books28 followers
October 1, 2016
I read this book to my class every year. It is a wonderful story.
Profile Image for Ashley.
26 reviews10 followers
July 30, 2017
Very sweet. Great message. Stand tall. Be proud of yourself and don't give in to others nasty comments. Quite simply, believe in yourself no matter how small or different.
40 reviews
November 28, 2017
Summary: "Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon" is about a young girl who has flaws, just like everyone else. Molly Lou Melon's grandmother teacher Molly to appreciate her flaws and to be proud of who she is.

Evaluation: I rated this book a 4. This book is engaging to its readers with such appealing images. It also gives young children a wonderful message of appreciating theirselves.

Teaching Tip: Teachers could read this book to his/her students, and then have the students write a text-to-self connection. (some connections could be about the students' flaws, someone teaching them to overcome something, etc.)
5 reviews
October 30, 2017
This book is an absolutely awesome book! Molly is just a little bit smaller then the other children and unique in her in ways. Her grandmother encouraged her to love all the things that made her different. The illustration were outstanding. I also enjoyed the dialogue from the grandmother and how Molly Lou Mellon listened to her. As a teacher, I believe this book would be a wonderful book to use in the classroom to teach children to not only accept their differences, but be proud of who you are and your uniqueness. I will most definitely be using this book in my classroom!
Profile Image for Grace Cantrell.
39 reviews11 followers
August 27, 2019
Summary: This book was about a little girl that got a life lesson from her grandma. No matter what a bully may say you should always stand tall. In other terms, the moral of the story is to always be the bigger person.

Evaluation: I think the message of this book is one that all students should hear. The book does a great job of showing how children can build their self-esteem. I loved the illustrations and the overall tone of the book. It was very humorous. I think it would be a great read-aloud for kindergartners to 2nd.

Teaching: This book is perfect to teach your students about positive self-image and how to deal with bullying. Through a read-aloud discussion, I would address the topic of "what to do when someone is bullying you?" Another topic I would discuss is "how Molly Lou Melon had high self-esteem." I would have my students complete an activity about building their self-esteem by having them write down three things they love about themselves.
5 reviews
February 5, 2020
This book is a great book to read to young children. It helps children realize that no matter their differences, they are all important. Mary Lou Melon took all of her differences, that some people would have seen as negatives, and turned them into something positive. It’s a light hearted and fun to read book that would be a great addition to the classroom. I will definitely read it to my students one day!
Profile Image for Jill.
1,442 reviews4 followers
June 23, 2020
This book is a shining example of why children’s books are not just for children. Everyone needs this message. With a delivery as joyful as the illustrations and Molly Lou (and her wise grandmother) are, everyone is in for a delightful read—many times over.
February 12, 2022
Text-To- World Connection

Personally, I enjoyed reading '' Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon''. I have seen this book several times and have yet to read it. Molly is a very inspiring student. Molly choice to listen to the voice of her grandmother that is filled with kindness instead of the negativity of her peers. Molly has differences just as we all do but instead of allowing the world to sway her individuality, she chooses to embrace it.
As a community and even worldwide we should that this same advice. Choose to listen, embrace and love yourself. Teaching our students at a young age to love themselves and others is vital. Embrace the energy of Molly Lou Melon!
Profile Image for Shamika.
18 reviews2 followers
December 9, 2017
In my opinion, this book teaches self-confidence. In the reading was a little girl named Molly Lou Melon, who had features that she was not too fond of. However, her loving grandmother always taught her to love and appreciate herself, and in return, the people that surrounds you will love you for those same reasons. In hindsight, this book can reinsure children to always love themselves and don't worry about people negative comments and to just be you. One activity that I would consider, would be putting all the children's name in a bowl and have each kid pick a name. Then, express one thing that they like about that person.
Profile Image for Kris.
3,104 reviews70 followers
April 15, 2018
Funny, adorable, and empowering. Molly Lou Melon isn’t having any of your insults. She is strong and confident in a itsy-bitsy package. The kids and I liked this one a lot.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,033 reviews

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