Once, when I was a child growing up in a village in Lebanon I saw a snake in the wood pile. I told my mother what I had seen, and her response was to tell me not to be ridiculous. Later she went past the woodpile and almost had a heart attack when the snake came sliding out. I don't remember saying "I told you so," but I have a feeling that I must have done.
Sometimes grownups are not very good at believing what their children tell them. Today's picture book demonstrates this problem very well indeed. Take note adults, sometimes when a child tells you that there is a pirate in the cupboard or a cake-stealing ninja on the loose, they are telling the truth!
For ages 5 to 7
Peachtree Publishers, 2011, 978-1-56145-579-9
Tim is a little boy who says so many extraordinary things that no one believes him. When his mother asks about the missing last piece of cake, Tim explains that a ninja crept into the house and ate it. When his father asks where the hammer is, Tim tells him that an astronaut landed in the yard and used the hammer to fix his spaceship.
Tim’s parents punish him for lying, so Tim decides that the best thing to do is to lie. After all, no one believes him when he tells the truth. So, when a pirate jumps out of the cupboard and drinks all the tea, Tim takes responsibility. In fact he takes responsibility for all the bad or strange things that happen around the house, even though he is not responsible for any of them. Despite his efforts to please his family, Tim gets punished for all the supposed bad things he has done. Poor Tim is punished when he tells the truth, and he is punished when he lies. What is the poor boy going to do?
Children are sure to be amused by this delightfully odd picture book. They will sympathize with Tim’s predicament, and celebrate when he finds a solution. They might even be inspired to tackle the ninja and astronaut who have been causing problems in their lives. Who knows? Perhaps Tim’s solution will work for them too.