Gerbil, Uncurled written by Alison Hughes and illustrated by Suzanne Del Rizzo (2015)
Little Gerbil had a secret, she couldn’t sleep curled up nose to toes like a gerbil should. She could only sleep stretched out on top of the bed with the warm sun on her fur. But Grandpa Gerbil liked to remind everyone of the five gerbil mottos. Finally, at a gerbil circle meeting, Little Gerbil confessed her difficulty in sleeping all curled up. It looked like all the other gerbils had problems of one kind or another too. So they decided to rewrite the mottos to fit everyone. They agreed to rewrite three of the mottos and leave two just the way they were since no one had a problem with those two. Now when it was bedtime, Little Gerbil didn’t have to burrow and sleep nose to toes, she could sleep uncurled when Grandpa announced, “Time to Rest, Find a Nest!”
This is a terrific book to read, especially when reviewing family, classroom, or team rules and mottos. Which mottos still fit the whole group and which ones can be modified so everyone fits in without breaking the rules? It’s also a great discussion starter for why we have rules in society. For older children, this would be a good introduction to studying the constitution and amendments.
At the end of the story, the author and illustrator have provided some interesting facts about gerbils and step-by-step directions to make a plasticine gerbil of your own.