One of my favorite comics is the Peanuts. Poor Charlie Brown can’t seem to do anything right. He can’t win a baseball game. He can’t fly a kite. Worst of all, nobody seems to like him. Thankfully, Charlie Brown has one faithful friend, Linus, who encourages him. I was reminded of Charlie Brown as I read A Friend for Patty by Sherry L. Riffle. Poor Patty can’t do many things right including flying a kite. Unlike Charlie Brown, she also has things she can do well. At first, she doesn’t have a friend like Linus, but with patience, she forms a friendship with a new girl, Kimmy Sue.
I like stories that have moral lessons that can be discussed with children. The first lesson that I see that can be discussed from A friend for Patty is the value of talents. We all have talents that we do well and things we don’t do well. Children can feel shame over the things they don’t do well especially if peers tease them or an adult criticizes them. Children need to learn that they have their own talents and gifts, but more importantly that their value doesn’t come from the things they do well. Their value comes from who they are inside.
The second lesson is the value of friendship. We need friends who accept us for who we are and who encourage us. We need to be that type of friend to others. I see Kimmy Sue and Patty accepting each other for who they are not the talents they have. I see them being an encouragement to each other. The example of their friendship can be a good discussion for children.
The story is a simple easy reader written in a sing-song rhyming style. It can certainly be read by a child learning to read, but its real values are the moral lessons that can be discussed. I would especially recommend this book for children struggling with shame over the things they don’t do well.
Sherry L. Riffle lives in Ohio with her husband and five children. Her stories were written for her children. Each story was written to help teach them lessons and morals. She hopes that your family will enjoy them as much as her family has.
Currently, Sherry is pursuing her degree in Psychology with Emphasis in Adolescent and Childhood Development. She is a member of the Honor Society, Alpha Sigma Lambda. Through life experiences and education, she knows the trials that children face in society and wants to help them. Learning to accept yourself in a society geared toward perfection isn’t an easy task for adults… let alone children. Her greatest hope is that one of her stories help a child in need.
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