Recommended for ages 3-6
Miles McHale is funny, smart, and sweet, but he’s also a tattletale. He tattles all day long, to anyone who will listen. Mrs. Snitcher, Miles’ teacher, decides to seize the teachable moment and decrees a Tattle Battle: two teams, one week, no tattling, and gives them a pledge: “If a friend is sick, hurt, or in harm’s way, then telling someone is okay.” It’s a hard lesson for him to learn, even when his friends stop talking to him over it, but when Miles’ little sister gets hurt, it’s up to him to figure out what the difference is between tattling and asking a grownup for help.
Tattling is a rite of childhood passage. Kids can be little town criers, and Christianne Jones is spot on with Miles. Kids will recognize their friends, relatives, and classmates (and maybe even themselves) as they read about Miles telling on his friends for scratching arms, standing on one foot, or sharpening a pencil. Miles provides an excellent opportunity to teach children the difference between tattling and reporting: when to seek help from an adult.
Miles McHale is an especially good book for preschoolers and kindergarteners, who are just starting to sharpen their tattling skills, and are navigating social relationships in a school setting. There are some good tattling vs. reporting resources available online, including articles and activities on tattling management in the classroom and coping skills and activities for kids.