The Emperor, an especially fashionable emperor penguin, never feels quite adequate. Despite a different outfit everyday, and people whose only job is to tell him what is "cool," he always wonders if he is really cool enough. Seemingly all his problems are solved when two crafty gents enter his chambers claiming to make clothes that only cool people can see. It is obvious to the reader immediately that this whole thing is a swindle, but takes the Emperor until the end of the book to have the epiphany that clothes do not make someone cool (or uncool for that matter).
When I picked up this book, my first thought was: "My kids don't even think about their clothes yet." But isn't that just the point. We can either wait and try to change our children's views of the world after they have been formed by the media, peers, or other sources, or we can be proactive in helping our children form their ideas.This children's book helps you do either or both all at the same time.
Books for Children Ages: 4 to 7 years old and older
Recommended for Family Reading: Not only is the "Emperor's New Clothes" a great book for an older sibling to read to a younger one, it can be a humorous way to talk about what otherwise may be a touchy subject with your older kids.
Activities for Kids:
- Make your own paper dolls and clothes to talk about what makes people think clothes are "cool." Cut out magazine pictures and glue onto cardboard, or have your children draw their own people and clothes depending on skill and interest level.
- Create a poster for your child's wall "I am cool because." Put a picture of your child, then help them decorate it, and write all kinds of things that make them cool (such as a nice smile, being thoughtful of others, or being a good artist). Focus on character traits and skills they have worked to aquire to underscore the point that who they are on the inside is really what makes them cool.
- Talk about using our time to help others rather than just focusing on ourselves. (Of course, this discussion will only be as effective as the example we set for our children). Sort through old clothes and donate ones that are too small, put together a care package for someone in the hospital, or write a card or letter to someone who might need some encouragement.
Children's Book Review Rating: 5 Stars*