Let’s face it then, in today’s world with messages about the way we should act and dress and talk and smile, children don’t really have a fighting chance to decide who they are and love themselves for it. There is so much pressure on our little ones today, that it is a wonder not all of them break under it. Little girls as old as 5 are wearing makeup…trust me, there is a lot wrong with that. And while that is in itself a discussion for another blog, I would like to talk about a Picture Book (Because let’s keep true to the main obsession of this blog, right?) that does a lot of good in helping children understand their own worth, and taking them on one of their first steps to loving themselves. All this with a slight change in perspective.
Amy Krouse Rosenthal is a gifted Children’s Author, and today I want to profile my favourite book from her collection: Spoon. Spoon is a book about…you guessed it, a spoon. A spoon who feels that he is not as special as the forks and the knives and the chopsticks of the world. He ambles on feeling sorry for himself and pining away at the special qualities that his other kitchen folk posses. Until, of course, a slight change in perspective helps him appreciate what he is.
Rosenthal uses the simple, yet profound analogy of being a spoon, to help children understand that each of them is special as (s)he is. With all the conformity inherent in our world, where being part of the pack is championed, the outliers don’t often have the chance to offer their special talents to our world. Rosenthal tries to help with that. Replete with illustrations that tickles a child’s imagination, and dialogue that brings spoons everywhere to life, this book offers children the rare opportunity to see the world differently in any situation, if they just learn how to change their perspective. It offers an option to put a positive spin on just about anything that might look particularly dire. Children have the chance to learn how to be grateful for what they have and who they are. And gratitude is much needed in a world bursting at the seams with entitlement.
So, if you’re a primary teacher, a parent of a child between the ages of 4 and 8, this books MUST be on your shelf. Who knows, that child sitting in the corner in the back of the room, might have his world turned to a shining view after you’ve read this one out loud!
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