By Nancy Tillman
If I had a nickel for every time I told my kids, “Tell your brother (or sister) you’re sorry!”, I’d be a wealthy woman! But on those occasions, the apology often came out as a whiny “So-o-o-rry”. Heartfelt it wasn’t. And if I were totally honest, I’d have to admit that I’ve also had a hard time saying those words, even knowing how much they needed to be said. Which brings me to Tumford. He isn’t really a terrible cat.
“But oh dear, and oh my, there was one small pity. Tumford, it seems, was a most stubborn kitty. In spite of the manners he often forgot, he would not say, “I’m sorry.”
Oh no, he would not.”
With each spill, crash and mishap, Tumford manages to hide, thus avoiding an apology. But when his enthusiasm causes a crash with the Village Fair Queen, Tumford gets a new thought that warms up his tummy and toes. His courage is sweetly rewarded. Tillman has exquisitely captured “Tummy’s” feelings in her illustrations throughout this book. You’ll almost forget you’re looking at a cat as Tumford peers wide-eyed from his hiding places.
There is indeed a wondrous effect that takes place when “I’m sorry” is spoken from the heart – love and trust deepen to a new level of understanding. Just like Tumford, spills, crashes and mishaps will continue to happen, but…to each of you, our precious children, you are loved…and that’s what matters.
What lesson did Tumford learn?