From the Publisher
“Rankin addresses a common playground issue through the thoroughly believable behavior of her little fox's full range of emotional responses, from exhilarating happiness to denial, lying, guilt, embarrassment and finally remorse. ....Direct poignancy will spark musing and discussion in every early childhood classroom.” Kirkus Reviews
“Emotions ring true in this simple tale of learning right from wrong. ...An excellent choice for bibliotherapy as well as for entertaining reading.” School Library Journal
Like a lot of girls (and girl foxes) in her peer set, Ruthie loves "tiny things-the tinier the better.... She had dinky dinosaurs, itty-bitty trains, ponies no bigger than your pinky, and teddy bears that were barely there." So when Ruthie finds a tiny camera on the playground, she immediately claims it for her own. Her classmate Martin identifies it as his birthday present, but that doesn't deter Ruthie: she lies to her teacher-"I got it for mybirthday!" Rankin (Rabbit Ears) unfolds this highly effective version of a psychological drama with skill and sympathy, using crisp, reportorial pencil-and-acrylic pictures to underscore the emotional and moral stakes. She allows readers to make their own connections to Ruthie's true-to-life feelings of guilt ("The bus ride home took forever.... Dinner was macaroni and cheese, Ruthie's favorite, but she couldn't eat.") and even subtly instructs parents in how to handle a situation like this one. Ages 3-8. (July)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Children's Literature - Wendy M. Smith-D'Arezzo
The star of this story is Ruthie, a cute little fox with a bushy tail peeking out from under her checked skirt. She loves teeny tiny things. She owns a myriad of little toys. She is fascinated when she finds a tiny camera on the playground at school. When Martin demands that Ruthie give him back his camera, saying that he got it for his birthday, Ruthie refuses. Instead, she tells their teacher that she got the camera for her birthday. Mrs. Olsen, a wise bear in a frumpy dress, judiciously takes the camera from Ruthie and puts it in her desk until they can resolve the issue. The lie she has told makes Ruthie feel awful. She cannot eat; she cannot sleep. Finally, she confesses to her parents what she has done. They advise her to tell Mrs. Olsen the truth. All is well in the end. Martin gets his camera back and Ruthie is praised for telling the truth. Now, she can do her schoolwork and enjoy her lunch. The children in the classroom are represented by a multitude of little furry animals, each drawn with love and care. The expressions on Ruthie's face clearly show her emotions, from anger to despondency and joy. Small details in each drawing, like the mother's purse and grocery bags on the kitchen counter, add to the realistic nature of this story. The story's lesson is somewhat didactic, but enjoyable nonetheless.
School Library Journal
Emotions ring true in this simple tale of learning right from wrong. A young fox loves teeny tiny toys and is delighted when she finds a miniature camera on the school playground. When confronted by the classmate who dropped it, she lets her desires get the better of her and tells the teacher that the camera was a birthday present. Ruthie's growing guilt is heartrendingly displayed in her expression and posture as she forgets the answer to 2+2 and rejects her dinner of macaroni and cheese. When she tells the truth and apologizes, her relief is palpable. Emotionally authentic in text and art, this story gets its message across without preaching. The didactic-sounding title is the book's weakest point, but that's a minor flaw. An excellent choice for bibliotherapy as well as for entertaining reading.
Heidi EstrinCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Ruthie loves her miniature assortment of dinosaurs, trains, ponies, teddy bears, seashells and a dollhouse-size tea set. Finding a teeny tiny camera on the school playground during recess, Ruthie is thrilled to claim it as her own. Happily taking pictures of everything in sight, Ruthie tries to take Martin's picture when he informs her that she is holding his camera and he wants it back. A shouting match ensues with each child claiming ownership and Ruthie declaring, in an outright lie, "It's mine!" "I got it for MY birthday!" Wise teacher Mrs. Olsen steps in just in time to call a truce, put the camera in her desk and defer the situation for tomorrow. Rankin addresses a common playground issue through the thoroughly believable behavior of her little fox's full range of emotional responses, from exhilarating happiness to denial, lying, guilt, embarrassment and finally remorse. Light, crisp pencil and acrylics on watercolor paper offer visual perspective to a well-written demonstrative text through a varied set of anthropomorphized animals. Ruthie's self-reflection and ultimate candid decision to apologize and admit wrongdoing is tenderly rewarded with a teacher's praise and respect. Direct poignancy will spark musing and discussion in every early childhood classroom. (Picture book. 4-6)