Okay, you all loved the perspective-taking, empathy-building book I recommended earlier this week, Room on Our Rock. Today, I’ve got another perspective-taking book that you’re going to want to check out: A Tale of Two Beasts, by Fiona Roberton.
*** Affiliate links used.
Part 1: A Tale of Two Beasts opens with a little girl walking home from grandma’s house, when she happens upon a strange little beast hanging upside down in a tree. She rescues him, brings him home, dresses him, gives him clothes and a cozy home-box, and desperately wants him to be happy. You can tell from the look on his face that he is not happy at all. In fact, when the girl opens the window to give him some fresh air, he jumps right through it and runs away! He reappears in her window a few nights later, and the two run and play together in the woods, old friends reunited.
Part 2: An innocent little creature is relaxing in his favorite spot, hanging upside down from his favorite tree, when a strange big beast ambushes and kidnaps him! She forces him to take stinky baths, smushes him into uncomfortable clothes, feeds him disgusting food, and holds him prisoner in a cardboard box. When he sees an opening to escape, he takes it and runs… Until he remembers he left his hat behind and bravely returns to fetch it.
Did you see what Roberton did? She’s told the exact same story from both the girl’s and the creature’s perspective! So incredibly clever! Roberton’s book gives adults a tangible way to talk to children about taking other’s perspective in events and therefore building the empathetic abilities.
Take your time with the illustrations here, as subtle differences add to the varying perspectives on the same events. Adults might also get a kick out of the page where the girl’s mom makes her eat dinner, take a bath, and go to bed (much like she did to the little creature earlier in the story).
A big thank you to Kane Miller EDC Publishing for sharing A Tale of Two Beasts with our family in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions of this book are my own.
If you liked this, be sure to check out Room on Our Rock! What other books do you love to help children understanding perspective and point of view?