Thursday, March 22, 2012
So, by now you know I have seven kids, and the youngest is seven (almost eight, Dear Lord!) You also know I hate, absolutely hate, when an author talks down to my kids. That usually means that I hate all of the "moral instruction" children's books out there.
Gerry the Giraffe Learns Why It's Good to Share somehow avoids all of the pitfalls that so many modern moral tales don't. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's the incredible art. The pictures are somewhere between realistic and cartoonish in a way that really appeals. The book was a little young for Abby, but even at seven, she giggled at the pictures. Gerry and his brother are realistic, even with some anthropomorphic expression. The pictures are simple, but lovely.
Maybe it's the nature of the story. I thought it would be some kind of a boy who cried wolf (maybe giraffe who called lion would work better) story, but it wasn't. There wasn't a fake consequence to selfishness manufactured to make it more of a fable. There was guilt. It feels bad to be selfish. Maybe even more important was that it feels good to be selfish while you're doing it, and the bad feelings come when you realize what you've done.
I liked it, and I hope Cressida Elias can keep up the quality with more books in this serious. I have some relative's rugrats who are just getting to the right age.
See the reviews of this book on Amazon.