Book Review: Ruthie and the (Not So) Teeny Tiny Lie

Author: Laura Rankin
Interest Level: Ages 4-9

About This Book: Ruthie, a fox girl, loves teeny-tiny things, so when she finds a miniature camera in the schoolyard, she claims it as her own. And lies about it when fellow student Martin tells their teacher, Mrs. Olsen, that the camera belongs to Ruthie. The rest of the afternoon is long for Ruthie, and at home that night, she ruminates over her crime until she finally comes clean with her parents. Having been counseled that honesty is the best policy, Ruthie, with much trepidation, tells her teacher and Martin what she has done. Mrs. Olsen praises her for telling the truth, and Martin forgives her, too. A real-life situation might not have such a happy ending, but this gets right to the heart of what children feel when they know they've done something wrong but don't know how to set things right. The sprightly artwork is cheery in all respects, except when it comes to Ruthie. With subtle brushstrokes, Rankin captures all the varied emotions Ruthie goes through: glee, defiance, worry, fear, and eventually relief.

Why It's On My Bookshelf: This age group (4-9) needs more books like this. I use this story as an opportunity to tell children that no matter what they have done - lying is always the Bigger problem. Kids can get into a habit of automatically wanting to improve their situation by lying. I love how the author shows how impacted Ruthie is both emotionally and even physically. Honesty is the best policy - that saying just never gets old. You are going to want this one on your shelf.

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