Friday, April 24, 2015

The Trouble With Cauliflower

Title:  The Trouble with Cauliflower

Author:  Jane Sutton
Illustrator:  Jim Harris
Publisher:  Dial Books for Young Readers, ©2006
ISBN:  0-8037-2707-0
Grade Level:  PreK-3

Book Review:  Mortimer likes cauliflower, but he is firmly convinced that cauliflower causes bad luck.  His kind and clever friend, Sadie, is determined to help him see the error in this assumption.  These adorable animal characters and their humorous antics are certain to delight readers of all ages.  While at the same time, the story's artful explanation of how powerfully our beliefs drive our actions is a clear illustration of the influence of mental models, making it a great piece of literature to clarify the concept of a mental model for students.

Systems Thinking Connections
Habits:  Surfaces and tests assumptions.  Mortimer has some firmly engrained ideas that are simply wrong.  The books provides a very safe way to look at how we too have ideas that are incorrect and how learning to pay attention to additional information is an important skill for thinkers of all ages.

Tools:  This book would be an ideal way to introduce the ladder of inference to young children.  There are multiple examples throughout the story that show how Mortimer's errant beliefs and subsequent actions are based on paying attention to all the wrong data.

Bonus:  This book is available as an app.  Find additional details on the author's website.

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