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Judging a Book By Its Cover

Emma got a new book from my mom. At bedtime, I asked her if she wanted me to read the new book from Grannie.

"No," she said. "I want a different book."

So we read a different book.

The next day, the same discussion.

"Do you want to read the new book from Grannie?" I asked.

"No, I don't like it," she said. "I want a different book."

So we read a different book.

The next day came and I asked her again which book she wanted to read.

"I don't know," she said. "You choose."

"Okay, let's read the new book from Grannie," I said.

"No, I don't like it," she replied. "Choose a different book."

"Why don't you like it?" I asked. "You've never read it."

"I just don't like the look of it," she said.

So I asked her if she had ever heard the expression "Don't Judge a Book by Its Cover." She hadn't. I tried to explain it as best as I could to a four year old. Eventually, she seemed to get it and agreed to read the book with me.

"What did you think of the book?" I asked her when we had finished reading.

"It wasn't very good." she replied.

She was right. It wasn't a very good book (sorry mom!). So much for teaching a lesson.

Photo credit: ~Brenda Starr~ on flickr
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Reader Comments (13)

Oh my god Annie, that made me laugh.

August 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCandace

I'm not sure about that saying... I've always been inclined to believe that first impressions are accurate more often than not. This has served me well more often than not... even when I wish it hadn't. A lot can be ascertained from a "cover." Even (or maybe especially) when it comes to people.

August 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmie

so very cute.

I came by to say hello, and to tell you what a joy it was to stand with you on stage at VOTY.

I met amazing women, who have changed me, in my small existence.

Thank you.

August 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAlexandra

That is seriously so funny. Isn't that how it always goes? Trying to teach a lesson and you're the one that gets taught. Thanks for such a cute story.

August 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKatherine

Haha, nice try though!

Thank you for stopping by, Alexandra. It was a wonderful experience and I'm glad to have shared it with you.

August 13, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterphdinparenting

oh, kids. they are right so often when we think they won't be! so are you telling the name of the not-very-good-book... please?

August 13, 2011 | Unregistered Commenteranna ~ random handprints

Hahaha. Classic.

I suppose the lesson from that is that you should always give it a shot anyway - sometimes it doesn't work out, sometimes it does. That's life for you.

August 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnna

My first thought was to ask what book it was so we can all avoid it. My second thoughtcomment is that there are folks in publishing who make a career designing book covers, under the expectation that the saying holds true!

August 13, 2011 | Unregistered Commentertara

Sorry...not sharing the name of the book. It was just boring, not bad enough to rip the book/author/illustrator apart on the Internet.

August 14, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterphdinparenting

Oh, I've so had "failed" teaching moments like these. My guess is, however, that if you explained the sentiment behind the saying, your daughter probably still learned something from your conversation. At least that's what I tell myself when my "lessons" don't unfold as planned...

August 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKristen

You know, it's funny because just the other day I was at the bookstore trying to find a book to buy and all I was doing is looking at the covers (and titles) to see if any would jump out at me. I know it’s not the best way to select a book and I need to do much more research... but, I think we all do this to some extent. If it doesn’t look appealing to us, we’re much less likely to get into it, even if it did come highly recommended. There’s a reason so much effort goes into book covers and CD covers etc... Thanks for the cute story.

Reid and I are reading Little Women. It's an e-version, so doesn't have a cover but if it did, I'm sure it would be boring. Yet, it's a good book. Maybe you need to find a bad covered, good book to read with your daughter.

July 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBarbara (@OttMomGo)

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