- Books, Literature, and Writing
Miss Twiggley's Tree: Teaching Children to Respect and Accept Differences in Others
Miss Twiggley's Tree was one of my favorite books when I was a kid. It teaches children that everyone is unique, special and important. No matter how different each person is, everyone can get along and help each other out in this world. We all need one another. This message is conveyed through a fun, rhyming poetic format.
Poor Miss Twiggley was a shy and quiet old lady who - as the title suggests - lives in a tree. Her fear of interacting with others, causes her to hide from everyone - up in her tree. A dog named Puss (yes - this is not a typing error) and a few bears are her only friends. They, unconditionally, accept her for who she is. The townspeople, however, feel quite differently. As a matter of fact, the people in town think it is, "Simply disgraceful! - - - to live in a tree and never come down." Even poor Puss is teased and chased by the other dogs in town.
However, when tragedy strikes the town, everyone learns that they must work together. They discover that each person (and animal) has value and worth as an individual. Being forced into a situation where fellow beings must come together as a team, forces them to overcome their own fears and limitations.
And this book is not just for children. As a matter of fact, several years ago, one of my nephews spotted my book during a family party. So, I had to read the book to my nephews. However, the adults gathered around to listen also. And they thoroughly enjoyed it. I had to read it a second time for those adults who missed the first reading.
And by the way, we turned the "P" into an "R". So, "Puss" became "Russ".
Andrew Henry is the middle child, who does not really "fit" in with his siblings. Andrew likes to "invent" things. When his family does not appreciate his inventions, he runs away to a meadow. Here, he meets other lonely children who have run away. This is a story about children who want to feel special and appreciated.
Miss Suzy is a little squirrel who is chased out of her happy little tree by mean bully squirrels. She finds safety in a dollhouse where she makes friends.
A classic Dr Seuss Book about a kind and generous moose. Others take advantage of his kindness and he becomes the target of bullies. This is a story about self-respect and standing up for yourself.