Monday, January 11, 2010

E is for Ethics - Book Review

"E is for Ethics, by Ian James Corlett, is an award-winning Canadian children's TV writer. Ian was inspired to write this book when he and his wife grappled with how to instill core morals and ethics in their two young children. As a solution, on Mondays after dinner they started a weekly discussion period dubbed "Family Fun Time." The family sat down together and Ian would tell his children tales about two young siblings named Elliott and Lucy.  E is for Ethics is a collection of those stories, which are designed to teach tact, understanding, and responsibility."

When I was first approached to do this review, I had just recently finished the Character is The Key and I seriously thought to myself... how many books like this can I read at a time?  Still, being an avid reader and always looking for more ideas on how to incorporate some positive teaching in my parenting style, I decided to take on the review. 

I have to say when the book arrived I was completely charmed by it.  The cover itself is sweet and just invites you to upon it up and explore.  The artwork, illustrated by R. A. Holt is very charming and simplistic and while it may have initially attracted me, it was the stories that kept me reading. 

Each of the 26 stories demonstrates a different ethic or value such as charity, loyalty, truthfulness, gratitude, kindness, perseverance, willingness, trust, respect etc.  The stories themselves are about two children, Elliott and Lucy and are relatively short (about a page) and are fairly simple to understand.  At the end of each story there are questions for you to discuss with your children.  

At first I thought that E would feel like I was sitting down and making her do homework.  It didn't turn out that way at all. She was happy to look at the picture and listen to me read the short story.  When I finished I asked her the first question and it didn't come across as if I was reading from a book but as completely natural.  I was amazed at how quickly my 6 year old grasped the basic message of the story and was eager to talk about the scenario at length.  My 4 year old was less interested, but she did hover around so I am sure she was taking it all in.  Since then we have worked our way through two more stories and plan to continue on. The shortness of the stories make it easy to add to our regular reading repetoire at night without the kids feeling they are being lectured to.  

Again, it just reiterates to me how important it is to sit down with your children and talk about these things.  Why wait for the issue to come up?  Why not tackle many of these core values head on and pave the way to developing a good sense of communication with your children.  

I see that this book is available through Amazon.Ca (currently $15.97) and Chapters.  For a list of other bookstores see Simon & Schuster's webpage

Thanks to Michelle Blackwell at Simon & Schuster for providing me with this fun opportunity to review E is For Ethics. 

*This is not a paid advertisement. Simon & Schuster graciously provided me with a copy of the book to review.  My thoughts and opinions herein expressed are my own based upon my impressions gained from reading the book. 



  1. This sounds like a great book, not only for my own family, but as gifts to others or even to the school, reading programs, etc.

  2. That sounds like a great book. I wonder if I can get it down in the States.

  3. thank you for the kind words! I always love to hear stories of real parents and real kids. It really works doesn't it? And I'm so glad you felt it wasn't preachy. That was my aim.

    And for our American friends, the book is available at all Barnes & Noble, Borders etc both online and in the big stores. Oh, and of course Amazon.

    Thanks again everyone. Tell your friends!



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