Later today I'll be sitting on a #kidlit panel on Ethics in literature at The Reader's Loft Bookstore. As part of the Ethics Day events, I was asked to compile a list of books for kids that deal with moral/ethical issues and share with parents.
Of course, as I was compiling the list, something struck me. While there are so many amazing and great books out there that get kids thinking about ethics and goodness and values and all, there are also so many other functions of books.
And books for kids should be for kids, right?
(Pondering this reminds me a recent Rate Your Story post, where Joan Donaldson writes about shoving the parents aside in your own story to make it child-centric.)
Tonight, as I share my selections at the kidlit panel, I will be sure to highlight many books that children will find enjoyable and engaging, showing the parents how books with good values don't have to be outright "about" ethics or overly didactic or written with an imperative tone. And I'll be sure to remind them that if we don't give our kids some strictly "fun" books in addition to "learning moment" books, we risk turning them off to reading. And that's an ethical dilemma in and of itself.
So today's Perfect Picture Book is one that is super enjoyable. It's not on my Ethics Day list, but it is one that reminds me of the importance to share all kinds of books with all kinds of kids. My own children beg to read this one again and again, just for fun. It is...
Title: Yoo-Hoo, Ladybug!
Author: Mem Fox
Illustrator: Laura Ljungkvist
Publisher: Beach Lane Books (Simon & Schuster), 2013
Genre/Category: Fiction, picture book
Synopsis (taken from jacketflap): Ladybug loves to hide. Can you find her?
First page: Ladybug loves to hide.
Why I chose this book: It's just pure fun! The rhyme is splendid! The colors are bright and hold kids' attention!
Resources: I don't want to be a spoil-sport, but sometimes I think we should just read a book with our kids and not extend it with all kinds of other learning activities. Just read it again. Maybe sing it! Memorize it! Write their own verses/pages. Or, read another book. JUST. FOR. FUN.
(P.S. See Susanna Leonard Hill's blog if you're not familiar with Perfect Picture Book Fridays.)
If you live in Wisconsin and want to attend tonight's storytime and Ethics Day panel session (11/15) at the Reader's Loft, it's at 6:30 p.m. Visit www.readersloft.com for directions. And don't forget, local SCBWI-Wisconsin writers, tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m. at The Reader's Loft is our fall meet-up with three guest speakers!
Have a great weekend (reading just for fun)!