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Mr Peabody's Apples bookcover
Mr. Peabody's Apples

Written by Madonna
Illustrated by Loren Long
Callaway, New York, 2003
5+ years

Choose what you say carefully because words have the power to be harmful and cannot be taken back once uttered.

The addition to this book to my list comes as some surprise to myself. I always recoil with considerable distaste to picture books written by celebrities. I am happy to include this book on my recommended list because the story is a wonderful tale of injustice and damage that can be done by rumor. Billy Little and his friends think they see a teacher, Mr. Peabody, steal an apple from a fruit market. More than once. The boys tell others and a damaging rumor begins to circulate. How Billy Little discovers he was wrong and how Mr. Peabody helps him learn how damaging words can be makes a perfect conclusion to this moral tale. The moral is clear, yet never emphasized in a pedantic, righteous manner. Lorel Long's illustrations add a touch of whimsy to the serious theme.

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