No really, who doesn’t love Robert Munsch? Robert Munsch is one of those timeless Canadian authors who makes me proud to be Canadian. His books are always based on real-life people, and every now and then, amidst the hilarity and the true-to-form made-up sounds, there is a moral. Cue entry of this book, easily one of my favourites from the Munsch.
Ribbon Rescue by Robert Munsch is one of those books that leads readers on a journey to discover their inner selflessness. Based on a character who is of Indigenous origin, this book really gives voice to the culture of our Indigenous brothers and sisters in a light-hearted and compassionate way. It is true, a lot of books written by, or based on, Indigenous characters tend to be heavier, with sadder, and often horrific, undertones. While that entire breadth of literature is essential for our Canadian Literary Canon, to ingrain in our minds the requisite components of our Canadian history, Robert Munsch goes off on a lighter tangent to showcase the grace and kindness of this beautiful culture.
Our main character, Jillian, is a young girl who dons a traditional Ribbon Dress and throughout the story, she selflessly offers ribbons to different people who cross her path and seem to need them. Eventually, she is left with nothing and this puts her at a disadvantage, but is her selflessness enough to overcome that disadvantage?
Munsch weaves a compassionate story-line that allows parents and teachers alike to pose questions to young learners about what Jillian is doing. Teachers, your young students might describe Jillian as “kind”, and “nice”, and “sweet”, but herein lies a fantastic opportunity to teach them how to exercise the kinder and selfless side of their everyday selves. This picture book is ideal for a bedtime story or read-aloud with children aged 4-8, and offers plenty of invaluable teachable moments. So pick up a copy of Ribbon Rescue today, and like me, you’ll discover how much young readers (and YOU) will love it!
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