Book Review: Tell a Lie and Your Butt Will Grow

  I have read to my kids since they were very little. But over the past year, their interest in being read to waned. I was disappointed, to say the least. I love reading and really wanted to cultivate a love of reading in my kids.

I discussed how to overcome this with a couple of great friends and fellow homeschooling moms. They both suggested I not allow them to watch as much TV as I have been. So, I started turning off the TV as soon as Daddy left and did not let them turn it on without permission. It was an adjustment. There have definitely been some positive results. They play outside more. They play with their toys and each other. They have more to talk about. But they were still disinterested in hearing me read to them. They would sit in silence as I read books like "The Family Under the Bridge" and "Sounder".

So I tried a different tactic. Pick the craziest sounding kid book I could find at the Goodwill. Don't worry about whether or not it won awards or if it would strengthen their character and teach good life lessons.

I found what I was looking for. For the cool price of $0.49, I picked up "Tell a Lie and Your Butt Will Grow" by Dan Greenburg. It had a crazy looking kid with a big behind on the cover. I sighed as I handed over my hard earned cash for something as silly as this book.

I showed it to the kids. They. Were. Thrilled. THRILLED. They were laughing at the title and were begging me to read it to them. My oldest actually asked if she could go ahead and read it on her own. I began that book a couple evenings later.

The book is about a boy, Andrew, who can not help but brag and lie. His exaggerated tale telling and plain old lying, causes his butt to grow some with each whopper. It is threatening to ruin the science fair project!

I did not like how the main character, Zack, said that Andrew could not help but brag and lie. That idea was not corrected, and it did prompt a talk about how we can control what comes out of our mouths. Everything we say, we choose to say. I did censor a couple things. Silly things really, I did not read the word 'moron' when a character in the book called someone that. I did not want my kids repeating it. I don't think it is a bad word, but they hear Squidward say it and I have to get after them then for repeating it. I certainly did not want to do anything further to encourage its usage. But, really, it did not say anything that they don't already hear now on Spongebob Squarepants. It was a silly little book, very fast to read, and the kids laughed out loud on a regular basis.

So even though it has little in the way of profoundness and real character building, it was a fast, easy read. And most of all, my kids looked forward to me reading to them. Perhaps the sweetest moment was after the book was read, my oldest went to the bookshelf, looked a bit, and brought me "Old Yeller."

I had to promise we would start tomorrow.

Oh and yes, when it was done, we could watch the movie :) .


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