Bad Apple Book Review: A Tale of Friendship

Bad Apple Book Review: Mac is a GOOD apple who learns to stand up to the bullies in the orchard when they start teasing him because of his new friend, Will the Worm. Perfect for Grade 1.

This little gem was recommended to me by Barbara, from The Corner on Character.

I actually wrote this post a couple of years ago, but it’s been a very popular one so I thought it was worth updating, especially at this time of year, because it has lovely messages about friendship and bullying.

Whenever I read it to my class it’s always a BIG hit!

Title: Bad Apple ~ A Tale of Friendship

Author / Illustrator: Edward Hemingway

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2012

Recommended Age: 4-8

Genre: Fiction

Theme: Friendship, Kindness, Bullying

Opening Lines: “Mac was a good apple. He shared his toys with the other apples, helped Granny Smith pick up after art class, and loved to dive fearlessly into the watering hole.”

Synopsis: Mac is a GOOD apple who learns to stand up to the bullies in the orchard when they start teasing him because of his new friend, Will the Worm.


1. A great interactive site called Kids Against Bullying. It’s full of facts, strategies, games, and colouring sheets like this one:



2. Most people have heard of the Wrinkled Heart activity, but it’s such a good one, it’s worth mentioning again. I’ve done this activity for years and it really hits home with the kids.

Essentially, you have the kids take turns crumpling a large heart, while they say something mean to an imaginary person. Then the heart is passed around again, but this time the kids say something kind and smooth out the heart.  Of course, even with all the smoothing and soothing, the heart is still wrinkled, just as a real heart would be after enduring some serious bullying.

I love the idea of adding everyone’s name on a band-aid. It helps to give ownership to the activity, and clearly demonstrates that “band-aid” fixes will NOT mend a broken and scarred heart.

I don’t have any pictures, but fortunately First Grade Wow! does.  I love how she also has a great little packet of activities to go along with the wrinkled heart.  Be sure to check it out.




3. Toothpaste Activity: This is also a very cool activity which clearly demonstrates that bad words cannot be taken back. Have a child squirt some toothpaste in a line along some paper. When they’re finished, ask them to put the toothpaste back into the tube. Of course, it’s impossible; just as it’s impossible to take back unkind words. You can find this activity and more at The Bully Proof Classroom.

4. Here’s very sweet little video clip for your enjoyment:

5. I also have an apple mosaic art activity that’s not related to bullying, but IS very gorgeous.



Directions: Give each child an apple sheet with a grid superimposed (click here for a copy). Have them use warm coloured crayons to colour the squares inside the apple, and cool coloured crayons for the squares outside the apple (this little artist used a yellowing green on the outside instead of the blue-greens, but it still looks pretty awesome!).

Before I gave them the sheet, I squared it all off with the paper cutter. I think it looks nicer this way AND there’s not quite so much for their little hands to colour:)

Looking for more books and activities? Be sure to check out Susanna’s Perfect Picture Book links!





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25 thoughts on “Bad Apple Book Review: A Tale of Friendship

  1. Oh my goodness…You got a comment from the author! I feel so honored to be in his company! I LOVE this book and my students do too! Thank you for the apple mosaic project. I'm going to try it this week!

  2. Hi Barb,
    I read the Bad Apple during my apple unit. I like reading books like that (with the ensuing short bullying discussion) throughout the year as a reminder of how important our actions and words are. I just found One by Kathryn Otoshi which is another wonderful book for young children about bullying that I am going to read to my kiddos soon.
    Mrs. Goff's Pre-K Tales
    ps – I love the apple mosaics. They are really beautiful.

  3. Hi Barb! can't believe I missed this post!!! It's amazing what you find on a lazy Sunday morning before church. A beautiful book and perfect focus for any age really. I love the mosaic art you created and I am going to do it with my class. I will ask our library to buy the book. Thank you
    Mrs Stowe's Kinder Cottage

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