Tattling and Squealing at School and at Home

With the beginning of each new school year, teachers across the country deal with tattling.  I found the following books informative, resourceful and just plain fun for kids.  Tattling is normal in young kids.  Pre-school and elementary teachers might want to consider starting off the year reading these books to the classrooms to help their students understand the difference between tattling and telling when something is really important.  Parents also face similar problems with siblings.

A Bad Case of Tattle Tongue, is written by Julia Cook and illustrated by Anita DuFalla for pre-schoolers to third graders.   It is published by the National Center for Youth Issues.  The author must have had my daughter in mind when she wrote this book.  I would have loved to have had this colorful and creative book to use with her.   Cook gets her point across with a wonderful teaching moment that is really quite humorous and guaranteed to make a child stop and think.  Kids alike will be entertained by this book, yet understand its strong message.

Josh tattles so much at school that he has been nicknamed “Josh the Tattler.”  He is so busy worrying about what everyone else is doing that he alienates himself from his classmates.  At school the kids ignore him at lunch time and during recess .   His mother is fed up with his tattling and tells him that if he doesn’t stop tattling, he’s going to get “Tattle Tongue.”   A bad case will cause his tongue turn yellow with purple spots and it will start to itch.   Each time he tattles his tongue will grow longer.  She comes up with a catchy phrase that helps him stop and think at school before he starts to tattle.  But, Josh has a dream about his tongue growing and meets that Tattle Prince who explains to him the difference between tattling and telling, and shares four basic rules.   Josh has some choices to make.

Don’t Squeal Unless It’s a Big Deal, is written by Jeanie Franz Ransom and illustrated by Jackie Urbanovic for pre-schoolers to third graders.  A great message for children accompanied with colorful, expressive pictures emphasizing how exhausting tattling can be for all involved.   There are 19 students in Mrs. McNeal’s class.  And 19 tattletales.  Teacher McNeal does a wonderful job of asking the tattlers if they’ve talked with the accused student, have they been hurt, or have they tried to fix the problem first before coming to her?  She comes up with a new rule that she prints on the blackboard: ” Don’t squeal unless it’s a big deal.”    The piglets learn when it is the proper time to tell a teacher.   Then one afternoon that rule is tested when something BIG happens.  The children are left to their own resources and have to use everything they’ve learned to take care of the problem.  The author is a school counselor and does an outstanding job of showing and not preaching to the students.    She has included a guide for teachers and parents at the end.  Kids will enjoy this book!

About Patricia Tiltonhttps://childrensbooksheal.wordpress.comI want "Children's Books Heal" to be a resource for parents, grandparents, teachers and school counselors. My goal is to share books on a wide range of topics that have a healing impact on children who are facing challenges in their lives. If you are looking for good books on grief, autism, visual and hearing impairments, special needs, diversity, bullying, military families and social justice issues, you've come to the right place. I also share books that encourage art, imagination and creativity. I am always searching for those special gems to share with you. If you have a suggestion, please let me know.

7 thoughts on “Tattling and Squealing at School and at Home

  1. Wow! Pat you are already home and into your reading/writing and blog work…. very impressive. I loved these two books you have reviewed and must pop along to my library and see if they are there just so I can read what happens at the end….lol… you have me hooked. You write such beautiful reviews.
    Thankyou for your sweet message, it was lovely meeting you at the conference, I am sure our paths will cross again one day, in the meantime look forward to hearing how your contacts in writing work out for you.
    All the best, Diane.


    • Diane,
      I cheated. While all of you were traveling, I stockpiled five blogs. I got a lot of hits to my blog over the weekend and wondered if it was because of the conference, so posted a new one.
      I am glad you enjoyed the books. I laughed myself silly as I read them. Tattle Tongue I had to order online — not in the library. Have a whole series of blogs related to going back to school that I like a lot. Enjoyed my time with you at SCBWI — it was great!



  2. Pat, these look like two humorous and targeted books on this perennial issue – Great assets for the classroom. WTG on prewriting all those posts. I have some serious work ahead when I return.

    Looking forward to the outflow of all we received #LA11SCBWI… including continued friendship!


    • Glad you liked them. They are great kid books to be read repeatedly at school. They are funny, yet get the point across. You will have much to blog about upon your return!

      Yes, I’m looking forward to the outflow of SCBWI!



  3. These books sound great — and much needed. I can just hear the words “I’m telling…” in my mind’s ear. “Don’t squeal unless it’s a big deal” is an excellent phrase to teach kids.

    Clever you to stockpile such excellent blogs!


    • I laughed reading both — great humor on an important subject that will certainly grab a child’s attention. Both very different, with an important message gets will just get — even though they will need to be reminded an hour later. 🙂


  4. Pingback: I Just Don’t Like the Sound of NO! « Children's Books Heal

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