A Magpie's Dilemma

Sometimes the simplest of stories convey complex ideas most beautifully. More by I.C. Springman has just a few words on each page, but the illustrations vividly depict the hazards of collecting too much "stuff." The story features a magpie - a crow-like bird that folklore recognizes for its attraction to shiny objects -- and which commonly describes someone who collects odds and ends of little value.  (I do believe I am parent to a couple of magpies!)

More begins with "nothing" when a melancholy magpie surveys his nest and realizes it is rather sparce. A mouse kindly offers a glass marble to the magpie, which the bird eagerly accepts. He then adds a red block, and a coin, and then more and more and more... ! (Children will delight in identifying the different objects the bird has collected.) Eventually, the magpie has "lots" which progresses to "plenty" which quickly becomes a bit too much -- until the voracious bird needs to build another nest and another one after that to house all of the trinkets he has acquired. At last all the tiny treasures overwhelm his home and everything comes crashing down around him. With the aid of his mouse friends, the magpie reduces his collection until he is no longer weighed down by the objects of his desire.

Recommended for ages 3 to 9, More is perfect for starting conversations about "needs" versus "wants" and how to determine when enough is enough.