________________ CM . . . . Volume XXII Number 19. . . .January 19, 2016


A Tattle-Tell Tale: A Story About Getting Help.

Kathryn Cole. Illustrated by Qin Leng.
Toronto, ON: Second Story Press, 2016.
24 pp., hardcover, $15.95.
ISBN 978-1-927583-92-0.

Subject Headings:
Bullying in Schools - Juvenile fiction.
Communications - Juvenile fiction.

Preschool-grade 1/ Ages 4-6.

Review by Nikita Griffioen.

*** /4

Reviewed from Advance Reading Copy.


Mr Tate sat forward. “Joseph, there's a big difference between tattling and telling...”


A Tattle-Tell Tale is helpful for children and adults alike as it distinguishes between tattling and telling, especially in a bullying situation.

     A Tattle-Tell Tale tells the unfortunately all-too-common story of a young boy, Joseph, being bullied at school. His bully, Martin, harasses poor Joseph by stealing his lunch every day at school. Joseph is upset that he doesn't stand up for himself, and yet he feels fear in telling anyone what's happening. Martin's mean actions go on every day of the school week. Eventually, Joseph summons up a bit of courage and tells Martin he is going to tell on him. Martin's reply? “You'll be sorry if you tattle.” Discouraged, Joseph tries all he can to avoid Martin and be able to eat his food. He ends up feeling very “alone”. Finally he goes to his principal, Mr. Tate. Mr. Tate and Joseph have a clear and enlightening discussion on what the difference is between tattling and telling while highlighting the importance of telling an adult.

     Qin Leng's illustrations are clear and vibrant without taking anything away from the important lesson of the story. Though her lines are simple, they are concise, and the sometimes-complicated emotions of the children are clearly seen on their faces. The visual aspect of this book draws even the youngest readers into a deeper understanding of the story as they navigate the difficulties of bullying.

     Kathryn Cole's A Tattle-Tell Tale is an important book for children—and adults—of all ages to read. Older readers will be glad for a story that both engages children and helps them to understand the importance of communication with adults. Younger readers, especially those who may be struggling with a bully at school, will gain insight as to what to do. Upon completion of this book, it is very clear what the difference between a tattle tale and a true story is!

Highly Recommended.

Nikita Griffioen, who is currently completing her degree at British Columbia’s University of the Fraser Valley in Abbotsford, will go on to teach high school and hopes to write and illustrate books of her own.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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