Friday, July 16, 2010

The Bed & Bisket Gang by M. Rene De Paulis

In The Bed & Bisket Gang, M. Rene De Paulis illustrates to children ways in which they can make those different from them feel accepted and valued.  Sarah's family has moved to a farm.  She already has two dogs, but as the days go by she expands her family to include another dog, chickens, a donkey, a mouse, a lamb, a cow and a goat.  Each comes with problems, but Sarah and the other animals help them overcome or adjust to their difficulties and learn to lead a happy, fulfilled life.

Each chapter introduces another animal and illustrates a way in which others can be different.  There is abuse, depression, handicaps that one is born with, handicaps that are thrust upon people, and difficulties brought on by one's own actions.  In that case, the chickens were making themself miserable as a result of spying and gossiping on the other animals. 

Children will internalize the message that each of us is different and each has value to contribute.  One of the cutest features in this book are the names.  Who couldn't love cows named Mother Utter and Sir Loin, or chickens named Attila the Hen and Chicken Noodle?  The author is also the illustrator and has created simple drawings that make the characters real.  This book is recommended for young children and readers.  It would also be useful in a church setting as it uses Christian terminology and concepts. 

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