Ray and Sally Cioni have written stories that capture a kids imagination (not to mention adults). This book is a collection of twelve short, animated stories that focus on character building in kids.
You’ll love the story about Jenny Jingles — a girl who craves the attention of her friends and tries to get it by talking so loudly that no one else can be heard. She learns her lesson one day when she comes down with a sore throat and can’t speak in class. When a commotion arises, all the kids but Jenny are reprimanded by their teacher. Jenny finally gets the attention she craves when the teacher praises her for her good behavior. There are so many good stories in this book, but the one that we love the best is “The Sweetening of Theodore Fudgelug.” This story recounts a candy maker who is trying to make a little more money by cutting the amount of sugar in his recipes. By slowly changing the recipes, none of his customers notice . . . that is until Sugarlips Murphy comes by for his favorite chocolate bar. Sugarlips has been sick for a few weeks and missed all of the slow changes. You’ll have to get a copy of this book to see his reaction!
The illustrations are imaginative, colorful and very well done — almost as good as Dr. Seuss. The stories cover a wide range of issues including: the danger of pride; the importance of listening to parents: the advantages of holding your tongue; how to diffuse an argument; how to be a real friend; the value of picking good friends; what happens when we’re kind to the poor; listening to the input of others; the danger of gossip; how greed can lead you astray; and where true beauty comes from. Each story has a related bible verse from the book of proverbs accompanying it. Even if the bible isn’t standard fare at your house, you’ll find this book to be a great resource for teaching your kids about character. The book is out of print, but can be found on Half.com, Ebay and Amazon.com. It is popular, so don’t be shocked by some of the prices. If you’re patient you can find a lower price but you won’t find a more enjoyable book to read aloud to your kids.