Last year I read a brilliant non-fiction book, You Are What You Read. It was all about changing your media diet to consume less negative news. Now, the author of that book, Jodie Jackson has written a children’s book, Little Ruffle and the World Beyond with the same great message. Just broken down in a way for children to understand.
I am a huge fan of children’s books with a message and purpose that sit alongside the story. Don’t get me wrong, the story is all-important too – it’s finding that elusive mix of both that I really enjoy. I want to love reading the book as much as my children and also feel that they are learning something worthwhile from our story time.
Who is Little Ruffle?
In Little Ruffle, Jodie has cracked the blend of story and message through a wonderful baby bird, named Little Ruffle.
Little Ruffle becomes scared to leave her nest after hearing only bad news brought back by the elder birds. So, one day, her mother takes her out and shows her that there is goodness out there in the big, wide world too. Sometimes you just have to change perspective and actively look for it.
It is a visual delight too as it’s beautifully illustrated by Sarah Leigh-Willis.
The problems, they were solvable
by those who dare to try.
But the elders flew too fast to see
and these stories passed them by.
Teaching our children at an early age to look at the wider picture – that there are always some positives to focus on when things seem tough – is a brilliant message. Especially at a time like this, when the news just seems so relentlessly bleak.
In her book You Are What You Read, Jodie explains about negative news bias. How, if you just tune into the news on TV or open a newspaper, the types of stories we are presented with are overwhelmingly negative. This gives the wrong impression that nothing good is happening and can have a negative effect on people’s outlook and mental health.
This is defintiely something I’ve felt for a while now and making a conscious decision to read news that talks about solutions has really helped me gain a more positive perspective.
For extra resources and activities, Little Ruffle has its very own website and Jodie Jackson has a really useful list of places for sourcing solutions news stories on her website too. I can also attest that Little Ruffle is a hit with the target audience, my sons are 3 and 5 and loved it!
Learn more about Little Ruffle in my exclusive interview with author Jodie Jackson too.