E Is for Ethics: How to Talk to Kids About Morals, Values, and What Matters Most Paperback – Jul 19 2011
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About the Author
Ian James Corlett is the author of E IS FOR ETHICS and E IS FOR ENVIRONMENT. He is well known in the world of children's television and has created, written for, and/or developed many popular children's series, such as The Adventures of Paddington Bear, Rolie Polie Olie, Will & Dewitt, and his namesake series, Being Ian. Ian is also a renowned voice actor. He is the voice for literally hundreds of animated characters as diverse as Baby Taz of the Baby Looney Tunes and Dad in Johnny Test. The father of two and husband of one for more than twenty-five years, he currently resides in Vancouver, British Columbia, and Palm Springs, California.
R.A. "Riley" Holt is a Canadian illustrator, designer, and artist who lives in Vancouver. Riley is proficient in a wide range of styles and uses many different mediums in his broad spectrum of artwork.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
It was a rainy winter day. Elliott was walking to the video store with his mother to pick up a movie for the evening. Mom was looking for a light comedy to watch with Dad as the fireplace crackled, but Elliott had nothing but spaceships on his mind. That is, until he noticed a crisp, new five-dollar bill lying on the ground at the entrance to the shop. His mother didn’t see it as she entered the video store, but Elliott locked on it like a tractor beam. Since no one was around, he picked it up and shoved it deep into his pocket.
As he drifted toward the “Outer Space” section, Elliott could not believe his good luck. He could hardly concentrate on selecting a movie because he was daydreaming about all the wild and wonderful ways he could spend his newfound fortune. He wandered around in such a daze that he didn’t even realize that not only had he not chosen a movie, but he was now standing in the checkout line beside his mother, who was waiting to pay.
Suddenly, his daydream was shattered when the lady in front of them, who was frantically searching through her purse, gasped. “I am positive I had five dollars,” she said. “I know because I just got a nice, crisp one in change from the last store ? Oh, heavens! It must’ve dropped out of my bag!”
Elliott’s heart sank.Would he be honest and give the lady the five-dollar bill?
What would be the honest thing for Elliott to do?
As with so many ethical qualities, being honest makes you feel great inside. Sometimes it’s difficult to be honest with others or even yourself, but when you are, there is no better way of life. Elliott felt great when he was guided by honesty about the money.
What else could Elliott have done as soon as he found the five-dollar bill?
How would Elliott have felt later if he had decided to keep the five dollars?
Can you tell us about a situation you can remember when you or a friend displayed honesty?
© 2009 Ian James Corlett
Top Customer Reviews
I cannot recommend this book enough!
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
It is a simple and easy to read book. The stories are about two pages each and are followed by a few questions. Some of the questions did lead us to longer conversation, which was wonder. Some of the stories seemed a little silly to my 10 year old. Her comment would be "that wouldn't happen" or something like that. Even when she didn't really like the story she still learned something by trying to make up another version/idea for the Ethic or helping her sisters figure out an answer to one of the questions. I was amazed on how often they were able to come up with a story from their own lives that when with the book. I was also amazed they kept asking for another story. They each picked an Ethic they figured would help the other.
This book is great and children of all ages could get something out of it. However, an older child might get more out of it if he/she had younger children to help. I think my 10 year old would have been a little insulted if I would have tried to read this book just to her.
* 26 short, mostly easy to understand stories on 26 different aspects of morality (honesty, forgiveness, tact, politeness, patience, etc.).
* My 4 1/2 year old daughter already gets some of the lessons, so I look forward to really leveraging the Q&A in a year for an even fuller experience.
* Nicely written.
* These "stories" aren't as beautifully written and lack the character development of the historically common more traditional religious stories and fables I grew up with. Those stories taught lessons in morality with amazing character development and mesmerizing story lines. Elliott and Lucy (the children) are not very well developed and you don't really get to know them, or what they are like, through these stories.
* 26 is too many. Certain topics seem a bit duplicative. I would have reduced the # of topics and developed the remaining stories more extensively.
All in all, well worth picking up!
I recommend this book to all parents who have children from 0 to 16, and to all future parents. All your questions will be answered, and so the questions of your children!
I will share a few of the read aloud stories included in Ian's book:
HONESTY: This is a story about a little boy, Elliott, who found a $5 bill. He was shopping with his mother and as she waited to check out, the woman in front of them was telling the clerk that she had had a $5 bill but lost it somewhere in the store. Elliott knew right away that the money he found belonged to this woman. Ian has discussion questions at the end of the story for families to use and this quote from William Shakespeare: Honesty is the best policy.
INTEGRITY: Elliott and Marci were together working on a dinosaur project for school. Elliott made the model of the dinosaur. Marci responsibility was to write the text for the report. Marci copied the text from the internet article she found. It was not her work. Elliott did not feel this was right. The discussion questions center around keeping your reputation and what is right in this particular circumstance. The quote written was by Janis Joplin: Don't compromise yourself. You are all you've got.
TRUST: Elliott was going on a skiing trip with his family. His dog Lola needed a responsible person to take care of her while Elliott was gone. Elliott had three friends who wanted to take care of Lola, but as Elliott thought about each friend, he had to make the difficult decision : which friend would he trust with his dog. The discussion questions lead you to choose the person you think Elliott chose. The quote was by George MacDonald: To be trusted is a greater compliment than to be loved.
These are only three of the 26 stories in this book. I consider this book a valuable resource for parents to use with their children. Communication is an important key to family life , but also raising children who will make the right decisions when their parents are not with them is equally as important.