Helping your children develop values is as important as teaching your child how to read and cross the street safely. The values that we teach our children will help them navigate peer pressure and shape them into adults. I will be sharing a list of 12 Values that I collected from a book written by Richard and Linda Eyre, Teaching Your Children Values. Today I will share with you a few of our favorite books on honesty.
Ruthie And The (Not So) Teeny Tiny Lie By: Laura Rankin
I absolutely LOVE this book for this topic, because kids can relate to Ruthie and her delima. Ruthie LOVES teeny tiny things and when she finds the cutest teeny tiny camera on the school playground, so can’t believe her luck! She started photographing everything in sight. Until Martin walks up to her and asks for it back. Ruthie is shocked and refuses. It is such a fun item she can’t bear to part with it. Martin tells the teacher its his and he had gotten it for his birthday. Ruthie wasn’t about to lose her precious new find and claims it’s hers and she got it for her birthday. After this lie, Ruthie can’t seem to focus and feels sick to her stomach. Eventually, she can’t take the pressure of the lie anymore and turns to her parents for help. I love how relatable this book is for kids! The description of how she feels after lying is done perfectly and makes it an easy subject to talk with kids about.
The Boy Who Cried Bigfoot By: Scott Magoon
This book is told from the perspective of Bigfoot, making it a fun take on “the boy who cried wolf.” Ben is a tenacious little boy and THAT is what draws bigfoot to him in the end. Ben is insistent that he has seen Bigfoot–he even makes tracks and tells BIG stories of him. Each time he calls for his family they come running, until they can’t take his stories anymore. It is then, that Bigfoot shows up. Bigfoot is intrigued by Ben’s bike and dog and his way of doing things. Bigfoot says he doesn’t usually interact with a littlefoot, but this Ben seems like a good kid. Ben calls for his family and no one comes. He screams for his family, and still, no one comes. Ben learns that you have to tell the truth ALL the time so people believe you.
Stuck By: Oliver Jeffers
When Floyd’s kite gets stuck in a tree, all chaos breaks loose. He grabs his shoe and throws it at the kite to knock it down, but would you believe his luck?…..his shoe gets stuck too. So he throws up his other shoe. And it gets stuck too. So Floyd throws his cat, a ladder, a bucket of paint, a kitchen sick, the mailman, the family car……and they all got stuck. Just when you think he finally has a grand idea by grabbing a saw….he throws that up into the tree as well. The small problem of a kite stuck in a tree turns into a major problem with a whale and a semi-truck and everything in between all STUCK. So, this book doesn’t directly relate to honesty, but I like to use it to show kids that telling lies can be like Floyd and all those objects he throws into the tree. He made a mountain out of a molehill. He could have just solved his problem quickly and easily, but lies are like that too, if you tell one it can quickly turn into 25 because you have to keep covering your tracks. And it gets harder and harder to dig out from under such a large pile of lies.
The Boy Who Cried Ninja By: Alex Latimer
I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with this book. I like it for teaching kids that telling the truth is always the best policy. However, it is slightly confusing to young kids, because he tells the truth in the beginning, but the truth is so outrageous that no one believes him. So he decides maybe lying is the better way to handle the situations that arise. But that lands him in trouble also. So, he decides to invite all the trouble makers over for a party, so his parents realize they really exist and he isn’t lying. The plan works, in the end, but I feel like I have to do a little explaining so my little ones know that telling the truth is ALWAYS the best way to handle things. Even if no one believes the truth, it is always most important to be honest. However, this is a kid favorite book at our house and they do understand that difference in lying and telling the truth. The illustrations are cute and it is a clever take on The Boy Who Cried Wolf.
The Empty Pot By: Demi
The Chinese Emperor is looking for his successor. In order to find out who the best fit would be, he gives seeds to all of the kids and tells them plant and tend to their seeds. Whoever grows the most beautiful flower will become the next emperor. Ping is elated! He has grown many plants and is a great gardener. But after months and months of watering and caring for his seeds, nothing sprouts. The day to show the emperor their blooms arrives and Ping slowly trudges to the palace with an empty pot. As children run past him with beautiful flowers Pings heart sinks even lower. When the Emperor sees Ping’s empty pot he calls to him and names him the next emperor, and revels that the seeds he had given the children were cooked and none of them could grow. Ping was the only honest child. Great story on how being honest, even when it’s hard is important and sometimes rewarding.
Howard is worried about getting his friend in trouble, so he lies to his teacher. He lies when he is worried about hurting someone’s feelings. And he continues to make small lies throughout the day. The situations Howard finds himself lying in are very realistic situations kids might find themselves in, where it’s easier to lie than to tell the truth. But over time Howard realizes he doesn’t like the monkey on his back and wants to confess and stop lying. The discussion questions at the end of the book are awesome!
A classic. I remember my Mom reading this book to me when I was younger. The messages in The Berenstain Bears books are always spot on, but they are a but wordy. So, might be a little harder to read in one sitting with younger kids. My 3 year old sits and listens to this book, but my 2 year old will walk off in the middle. When Brother and Sister Bear accidentally break Mama’s favorite lamp, their little lie grows bigger and bigger, until Papa Bear helps them find the words that set everything right again. Great book for helping kids talk about how lies just get bigger and bigger and harder and harder to hold on to.