For the most part of my younger growing up years, I’ve remained staunchly to the phrase “never judge a book by its cover” metaphorically. Now that I’m much older, I have learnt this phrase is to be applied sparingly. I digress.
Over the years, I have found that while this phrase can be applied metaphorically, it does not apply to its literal sense. Good reads (at least to me) are preceded by well-designed, attractive covers. Attractive covers hold my interest long enough to give the synopsis, and then maybe, the book a go.
I have been the designated bedtime story teller in the family for the past 7 years (I read to Matthew prenatally since he was 16 weeks old), and I still choose books based on their covers. Though choosing books based on their covers alone does not guarantee that the story will end up a good one, the success rate is high enough for me to continue doing so. And once in a while, I discover rare, beautiful gems that have both beautiful exterior (cover) and interior (story).
I highly recommend this book for 6yos:
The story is about the young elephant, Forget Me Not, suspending judgement of one’s outward appearance and seeing the inner beauty of his new friend Buttercup the warthog. Buttercup was shunned and ridiculed by her siblings and strangers alike; but eventually led the entire herd to fresh food and water using her intelligence and putting her (ugly) traits to excellent use. Forget Me Not stayed by Buttercup’s side throughout and encouraged her to accomplish the seemingly impossible.
I was extremely touched by the story and beautiful illustrations; I had to hold back my welling emotions lest I brawl out loud and scare the kids. The kids enjoyed the story and beautiful illustrations, but I think they have too little life experiences to associate themselves with the feelings of being an ‘underdog’ and the importance of a great, supportive and constructive friendship.
And though I can probably pass as a storyteller, I am not a ‘moral’ storyteller. I tried to explain how Forget Me Not saw the goodness in Buttercup etc etc, only to receive a non response from Matthew. I let it pass as I never want our story telling sessions to turn into a tirade of the merits, morals, good, bad, rights or wrongs of life. Another life lesson for another time.
I googled the author Michael Broad and discovered that he has other beautifully illustrated children’s books under his belt! You can see them for yourself here. Now I cannot wait for the next time we’re at the library again, for I know exactly whose books I will be borrowing the whole lot of…