PPBF! Miss Fox’s Class Gets It Wrong by Eileen Spinelli

Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday. It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because I didn’t see any books on the PPBF list that talked about gossiping. I think it is important to teach kids not to gossip and this book does it really well!

Miss Fox’s Class Gets it Wrong

By Eileen Spinelli

Illustrated by Anne Kennedy

32 pages – ages 5+

Published by Albert Whitman & Company on June 1, 2012

Theme/Topic – Gossip, Rumors

Opening and Synopsis – 

“One morning, Officer Blue Fox came to Miss Fox’s classroom. He spoke to the students about safety.”

Ever since Officer Blue Fox came to visit Miss Fox’s class, rumors have started! Bear saw Officer Blue Fox stop Miss Fox on her bike; she must have done something wrong! The students start to see Miss Fox around town doing strange things like getting a disguise of a big hat and sunglasses. When they find evidence that she is leaving town they all conclude she is going to jail and needs to escape! Do the children have it right or are they guilty of spreading too much gossip?

Why I liked this book – I love the message of this book and it is a good one to teach. It is so important not to start rumors and not to gossip about people. Gossip is a kind of bullying and I think that maybe some kids don’t understand that. I also love the way Mrs. Spinelli tells stories. She has a very important message in this book, but it is mixed with a lot of humor and it is told in a very kid-friendly way. I also like the funny illustrations (especially all the shocked looks on Miss Fox’s student’s faces! I think teachers could use this book in their classrooms to teach their students about how gossip can be harmful. I think kids 5+ will enjoy like LOVE this book!

Activities and Resources –

You can play a kind of game to show how gossip can spread lies around. You can start with a gossip phrase like  “I saw Bob get into a police car.” Ask your kids what they think that means. They will probably say it means Bob is in trouble. You can say other reasons Bob might get into the police car, like his dad is an officer or the police found the bike Bob lost yesterday. Then explain that if someone started telling all kinds of people that Bob was in trouble with the police, it’s wrong and it can really hurt Bob’s feelings.

Teach your kids that gossip can actually hurt people and it is a kind of bullying. HERE is an article about teaching your kids that gossip is hurtful at Livestrong.com.

I found a teacher’s guide on how to stop gossip in their classrooms at Orca Books (Click HERE).

To learn more about Mrs. Spinelli and her other AWESOME books, please visit her website HERE.

To find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hill’s blog HERE

Categories: Age 6-9

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39 replies

  1. Rumors and gossip can be pretty bad. I like seeing a fun picture book addressing this issue. Great review..

  2. Great subject, Erik. I’ve read another of Eileen Spinelli’s fox stories, they are wonderful.

  3. Sounds like a great book Erik, thank for sharing! You’re right, books about gossiping are hard to find and it seems as thought this one does a wonderful job of teaching the dangers of it. Thanks for another great post and best of luck to Ms. Spinelli.

    Paul R. Hewlett

  4. I laughed out loud as I read your book. What a fun way to teach kids about gossip. Love Eileen Spinell’s fox stories. Great choice for kids.

  5. We seem to have funny books galore this morning. This one sounds hilarious! And a good selection. This review makes me laugh. I can hardly wait to read the book. 🙂

  6. What a cool book. It sounds like it has a great message without being preachy. Do you think the “telephone game” might be a good activity? I always like to hear how the message changes as it is passed from child to child.

  7. You do love Mrs. Spinelli’s books! I’ll be using several of your recommendations in upcoming weeks. I’m the new, permanent Friday guest reader in T-man’s class. Fun!!!!

  8. Such an important message for children/adults to learn. Gossip, spreading rumours is so destructive.

  9. Oh, I so want to read the ending now, Erik, you reviewed this so well.

  10. What a fun review about a very important subject. This looks like a very cool book that gets the message across. Thanks for sharing Erik.

  11. Seams like far too much negativity comes from what we don’t know! Your summary alone makes me want to read this – not to mention the great picture book makers!

  12. Erik, you are so right that gossip is an important topic, and you really can’t go wrong with anything Eileen Spinelli writes. Great choice!

  13. Great review, Erik. I’m an Eileen Spinelli fan too — and I can’t resist foxes. Sounds like she got her message across in a sly, effective manner :).

  14. Another good Friday picture book. I like Eileen’s work and this looks like another winner. First I have seen that was about gossiping. And you are so right Erik, gossiping can be a form of bullying. You said kids don’t get this. Well, neither do most adults.

  15. What a great book, Erik! I’m so glad you shared this. You are right, there are no other books about gossiping on our list and it is a very important thing for kids to learn about. Thanks so much for bringing this book to my attention!!

  16. I really like this series by Eileen Spinelli, but haven’t seen this one. Thanks for the review!

  17. I’ve read one Eileen Spinelli book and enjoyed it greatly. I have a feeling i’d enjoy this one too. It sounds like it also holds a very important message that a lot of young kids could benefit from. Thanks for sharing this, Erik. Would look for this in the library.

  18. Gossip and rumor are first cousins to bullying! Thank you so much, Erik, for introducing me to a book that i will be able to use in my bullying presentations…and I love all of your resources and activities. 🙂

  19. We could all learn from the theme of this book, Erik…good one!

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