Ruthie and the (Not So) Teeny Tiny Lie, Pinky Promise: Telling theTruth

As school is about to start, I have selected a couple of books that tackle a common childhood problem, lying.  Children lie so they won’t get into trouble, to impress friends and feel important.   As the following books illustrate, honesty is always best, and sure makes you feel better.  Great books to read to young children.

Ruthie and the (Not So) Teeny Tiny Lie, is written by Laura Rankin and published by Bloomsbury, U.S.A. for children 4-8 years of age.   The watercolor illustrations are lovely.

Ruthie is an adorable little fox, who loves tiny things, especially toys.   Where ever she goes she collects everything teeny, like the bird shell of a hummingbird.  One day at school, when she’s playing on the playground, she finds a very tiny camera.  She is exuberant at first, because it has been her best find ever.  She walks around snapping photos, until Martin says “Hey, that’s my camera!  I dropped it on the playground.”   Ruthie wants the camera so badly that she lies in front of Martin and the teacher, claiming it s hers.  Ruthie feels sick inside from guilt,  can’t concentrate at school, and won’t eat her dinner.    This book has an excellent lesson for children about how awful it can feel to lie, and how good it can feel to tell the truth.

Pinky Promise, written by Vanita Braver, M.D., is a book about telling the truth for children 4- 8 years of age .  It is part of a series called, “Teach Your Children Well.”  It is illustrated by Cary Pillo with colorful and detailed pictures that will captivate kids.

Meet Madison, her favorite bear, Honesty, and her best friend, Emily.   The girls spend the afternoon stringing beads to make necklaces and bracelets.   They show off their designs to Madison’s Mom, who admires their creations.  Madison begs her mother to take a picture, and she agrees — once she has finished a task.   An impatient Madison grabs the camera and it slips from her hands.  Madison’s mother appears and takes the picture.  Nothing happens.  Madison lies to her mother about breaking the camera.   Later, her stomach hurts, she feels awful and she reaches for Honesty to comfort and help her make the right decision.    The author has done an excellent job helping children discern between what is right and wrong, without being preachy.

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.

10 thoughts on “Ruthie and the (Not So) Teeny Tiny Lie, Pinky Promise: Telling theTruth

  1. Pat, what I like about these two books is the depiction of the physical discomfort of lying. I have vivid memories as a child of feeling almost physically sick with feelings of guilt when I had told a fib, and Know kids will be able to relate to Ruthie and Madison’s discomfort prior to resolution!


    • I thought the discomfort was something young children would certainly resonate with. I also remember feeling sick inside and was a regular confessor if I told a fib. These books were written in a fun way and should be read regularly. Important to start early. Almost added a comment about kids and memory and how lying can be a way to please. I know a child that had ADHD and lived in the moment. When her mother picked her up from school or day camp, she would ask her daughter about her day or what she had for lunch. The child couldn’t always remember, so she made things up to please the parent. The friend thought she was showing interest in her child’s day and was clueless the child was making things up. It soon had become a pattern by the time the parent realized what was happening. It’s a different form of lying, so parents really need to be in tune with their own child. Don’t know if you’ve seen this as a guidance counselor.


  2. Those books sound excellent, Pat. Your reviews are just right, as well (I must work on being more concise in mine — my posts go on forever.)

    The information you gave Joanna about the girl with ADHD was fascinating — people really do need to be in tune with their own child, as you say. I seem to recall that my friend whose son is on the autism continuum had trouble getting him to understand the concept of lying or stretching the truth. I can see that this would be a problem in several disorders.


    • Our blogs are very different — you do more teaching and writing and I let parents and teachers know what books are available for specific issues and special needs. Thank you for your comment about your friend. I would imagine stretching the truth or lying could be problem for children with a variety of disorders. Bottom line, you can teach your kids values and help them find a moral compass, set consequences when they stray and hope for the best. I think this is such an imporant topic that needs be addressed at a very early age and throughout school. Again, thanks for your remark.


  3. Yes, interesting info about the ADHD child, Pat. What I have see with compulsive, unrepentant liars, is that it is usually revealing of some pretty serious needs that require ongoing support and help, both for child and parent.


  4. Interesting…. As a kid I was lead to believe people could see right through you…. so no use lying or fibbing. My brothers on the otherhand got away with it, like you wouldn’t believe.
    Parents certainly need to read these type of books too. Again lovely post Pat.


    • Funny, I was told the same thing that people could see write through me, so I might as well be honest. Thinking back, it was out guilty body language that gave us away. It’s funny how different sibblings can be. You were definitely sensitive — your brothers were bold and willing to take the risk. Thanks for sharing. Made me chuckle.


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