Stealing and Honesty

Yoon and the Jade Bracelet
Author: Helen Recorvits
Illustrated by Gabi Swiatkoska
Interest Level: Ages 4 and Up

From the Book Jacket: It is Yoon's birthday and all she wants is a jump rope so she can jump and sing with the other girls in the school yard. Instead, Yoon's mother gives her a Korean storybook about a silly girl who is tricked by a tiger. Yoon also receives a jade bracelet that once belonged to her grandmother. The next day at school, an older girl invites Yoon to join in jump rope, but she wants to borrow Yoon's bracelte for the afternoon. When Yoon tries to get her bracelet back, the girl swears it belongs to her. Yoon must use the lessons learned in her storybook and Her "Shining Wisdom" to retrieve the precious keepsake.

Why It's On My Bookshelf: This was thoroughly enjoyed by all of the classes I read to at the end of last year. It's got a lot of good stuff in it regarding friendship, telling the truth, being proud of who you are, and stealing. Even though it was easy to focus on the older girl and how she had wronged Yoon. It become apparent to the kids that Yoon actually played a part in getting herself in this circumstance. Some great discussion questions we pondered: Why are some kids willing to sacrifice who they are and their values for a friendship? When faced with a tough decision, how can we motivate ourselves to do the right thing? How can we stay true ourselves?  I also loved the cultural angle - there is definitely a struggle for some kids to fit in for fear of being rejected. Can't wait to read it again this year.

Little Croc's Purse
Author/Illustrator: Lizzie Finlay
Interest Level: Ages 4 and Up

From the Book Jacket: One hot day, Little Croc finds a lost purse. "Finders keepers!" shout his friends, imagining a treat of lemonade and a lovely cool swim. But Little Croc is determined to find the purse's owner...Will his honesty be rewarded? Or will he be tempted to spend the money inside?

Why It's On My Bookshelf: This story reminded me of the word temptation. Kids (and adults) can be put in positions where they are tempted to make the wrong decision - because they might benefit. Long story short here.....Little Croc does the right thing but not without his friends pressuring him to keep the purse. In the end, he gets to keep the purse as his reward for being honest. The only thing I would change in this story is putting more focus on the internal rewards he received for doing the right thing. Sure, it's great he gets the purse - but that's not the TRUE reward. Make sure to go into this with your kids/students. Definitely glad this is on my bookshelf. 

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