“It wasn’t my fault” is a cry often argued by children. It is also the name of a hilarious and entertaining picture book by Helen Lester, It Wasn’t My Fault, that ultimately teaches children about responsibility.
An exciting and cleverly illustrated story offers an opportunity for mindfulness in my pre-K and K yoga classes, when the kiddos gather, respecting each others space, with quiet bodies, quiet voices and quiet minds. An interesting story, that includes animals and children that appeal to this age group, inspires yoga poses, and often teaches a life lesson.
The animal antics in It Wasn’t My Fault express kid-level humor regarding a chain reaction of clumsiness, blame-shifting, and unintended
consequences. Murdley Gurdson was clumsy and whatever happened, it was
always his fault. Someone laid an egg on his head (while he was walking in 1, too-big shoe). He asked a bird, who said he laid the egg, but an aardvarks’
scream scared him. Murdley and the bird asked the aardvark, who confessed to the scream because a pygmy hippo stepped on his tail. The hippo said it
wasn’t his fault as he was getting out of the way of a hopping shoe with long ears . . .
The actions of Murdley and the animals in this story show children that their actions have consequences, and it’s what they do as a result of these consequences and their attitudes toward them that really counts. After the ‘whose fault it was’ discussion, the animals scrambled the egg for Murdley and they enjoyed each other’s company. Implying: in the end, who cares whose at fault, let’s all get along and get past it. This story also teaches empathy, patience and understanding.
Kindergarteners always have opinions about “blame” and “fault”, and this book kindles interesting, and cute, discussions during yoga story time. We also work in a few yoga poses. Making up Aardvark Pose and Pygmy Hippo Pose, two kid favorites.
Helen Lester is the author of many children’s books, and is best known for her Tacky the Penguin Series and Hooway for Wodney Wat. Her books deal with children and behavior. According to Helen Lester, she starts with a problem that she feels might be important to her readers, builds it up, thinks of weird things her character might do, one after another, weirder and weirder. . .
Lynn Munsinger’s watercolor illustrations are humorous, depicting personable characters that children immediately relate to. The facial expressions, and body language given an animal show each one to be unique, and their human gestures add to the comedy.
Enjoy some animal antics and time with your children. Read It Wasn’t My Fault and other stories by Helen Lester!