Ruthie and the (Not So) Teeny Tiny Lie

Overview

Ruthie loves little things--the smaller, the better. When she finds a teeny tiny toy on the school playground, she can hardly believe her luck. There's just one problem: it belongs to somebody else! Ruthie insists the toy is hers, but deep down, she knows better. How could one little toy turn into such a great big problem?

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Overview

Ruthie loves little things--the smaller, the better. When she finds a teeny tiny toy on the school playground, she can hardly believe her luck. There's just one problem: it belongs to somebody else! Ruthie insists the toy is hers, but deep down, she knows better. How could one little toy turn into such a great big problem?

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
From Kirkus Reviews

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

From School Library Journal

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

Publishers Weekly

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

PreS-Gr 2
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.

Kirkus Reviews
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)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781599900100
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 6/28/2007
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 164,691
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD490L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 10.92 (h) x 0.39 (d)

Meet the Author

LAURA RANKIN is the creator of Fluffy and Baron and The Handmade Alphabet. She has also illustrated Rabbit Ears, by Amber Stewart, and the Harriet Bean mysteries, by Alexander McCall Smith. She lives in Maine, where she likes to collect all kinds of teeny tiny things.

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Finders Keepers, Losers Weepers?

    Ruthie and the (Not So) Teeny Tiny Lie by Laura Rankin is a clever tale in which a precious little fox named Ruthie, who LOVES teeny, tiny things, finds an itty-bitty camera on the playground and starts using it as if it's hers. As she's snapping pictures with her new-found memory maker, Ruthie's confronted by Martin, who says he got that camera for his birthday. Ruthie lies so that she can keep the little treasure, and an argument ensues.

    When the teacher in all of her wisdom tells the fighting friends that she'll just put the camera in her desk drawer and that they'll work at solving the problem tomorrow, Ruthie imagines all sorts of consequences for her actions, the worst of which might be losing Martin as a friend. Will she do the right thing and tell the truth?

    Ask your children if they think "Finders keepers, losers weepers" is right. Find out if they think the teacher should punish Ruthie for taking the camera? How about for lying about it? Maybe the natural consequences were punishment enough. If I could change just one thing, I would have liked to hear Martin say, "I forgive you," rather than, "It's okay," after Ruthie apologized, but that serves as a great talking point with kids! Enjoy this rich read-aloud and its not so teeny tiny lesson.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2009

    Delightful

    Good story<BR/>Good illustrations<BR/>Good life lesson

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  • Posted November 19, 2008

    Teacher Candidate Review

    Grades K-2. Rankin creates an excellent story for discussing right and wrong. Ruthie is a girl fox who loves teeny, tiny things. One day on the playground Ruthie finds a teeny, tiny camera. She picks it up and places it in her pocket. When her classmate, Martin, tells the teacher it is his and Ruthie stole it, Ruthie lies and says she got it for her birthday. Ruthie experiences many emotions including happiness, sadness, denial, worry and guilt to the point where she can no longer eat. Ruthie eventually feels much better after confessing to the teacher. Young children would be able to relate well to this story because all of the feelings Ruthie experiences. These emotions are exactly what children feel when they know they have done something wrong. The illustrations in the book accurately depict the plot of the story and the character¿s emotions. Also, the vibrant colors are eye-catching and make this the perfect picture book for kids. The story teaches children a lesson about telling (not so) teeny tiny lies.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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