With the beginning of each new school year, teachers across the country deal with tattling. I found the following books informative, resourceful and just plain fun for kids. Tattling is normal in young kids. Pre-school and elementary teachers might want to consider starting off the year reading these books to the classrooms to help their students understand the difference between tattling and telling when something is really important. Parents also face similar problems with siblings.
A Bad Case of Tattle Tongue, is written by Julia Cook and illustrated by Anita DuFalla for pre-schoolers to third graders. It is published by the National Center for Youth Issues. The author must have had my daughter in mind when she wrote this book. I would have loved to have had this colorful and creative book to use with her. Cook gets her point across with a wonderful teaching moment that is really quite humorous and guaranteed to make a child stop and think. Kids alike will be entertained by this book, yet understand its strong message.
Josh tattles so much at school that he has been nicknamed “Josh the Tattler.” He is so busy worrying about what everyone else is doing that he alienates himself from his classmates. At school the kids ignore him at lunch time and during recess . His mother is fed up with his tattling and tells him that if he doesn’t stop tattling, he’s going to get “Tattle Tongue.” A bad case will cause his tongue turn yellow with purple spots and it will start to itch. Each time he tattles his tongue will grow longer. She comes up with a catchy phrase that helps him stop and think at school before he starts to tattle. But, Josh has a dream about his tongue growing and meets that Tattle Prince who explains to him the difference between tattling and telling, and shares four basic rules. Josh has some choices to make.
Don’t Squeal Unless It’s a Big Deal, is written by Jeanie Franz Ransom and illustrated by Jackie Urbanovic for pre-schoolers to third graders. A great message for children accompanied with colorful, expressive pictures emphasizing how exhausting tattling can be for all involved. There are 19 students in Mrs. McNeal’s class. And 19 tattletales. Teacher McNeal does a wonderful job of asking the tattlers if they’ve talked with the accused student, have they been hurt, or have they tried to fix the problem first before coming to her? She comes up with a new rule that she prints on the blackboard: ” Don’t squeal unless it’s a big deal.” The piglets learn when it is the proper time to tell a teacher. Then one afternoon that rule is tested when something BIG happens. The children are left to their own resources and have to use everything they’ve learned to take care of the problem. The author is a school counselor and does an outstanding job of showing and not preaching to the students. She has included a guide for teachers and parents at the end. Kids will enjoy this book!