A Trail of Honesty

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A Trail of Honesty is a picture book that encourages adults and children to have an open dialogue about honesty and camping safety. Summertime is vacation time for the Angelino family, and the two Angelino boys are excited about their upcoming camping trip. They’re going to the local state park, where they can swim, go fishing, and look for wildlife! Being on vacation doesn’t mean the boys have to be careful. An encounter with a sneezing deer provides their father with an opportunity to teach the boys about respecting wildlife and staying alert for danger. Knowing more about the park’s wildlife helps the boys have more fun while staying safe. They discover staying quiet and moving slowly makes it easier to see the animals and birds that call the park home. At the camp, the boys have responsibilities like the rest of the family. When they neglect one of these responsibilities and lie about it, they wind up in trouble—and learn an important lesson. Beautifully illustrated, A Trail of Honesty teaches children about honesty while explaining actions have consequences. J. A. Angelo’s delightful story is an ideal way for parents to use consequences to teach children how to be better people—not simply to punish them.

Children / Other
J.A. Angelo
Age Rating:

A Trail of Honesty

Shortly after school released for the summer, the Angelino family decided to take a vacation with some family and friends. Once they arrived at the campground at the local state park, they played backyard games like badminton, horseshoes, and hide-and-go-seek.

The Angelinos also had fun swimming in the pool, playing in the lake, going fishing, taking nature walks, and having movie nights at the Amphitheater.

One day during their vacation, the three Angelino boys decided to take a walk on the nature trail with their dad. The trail was full of wildlife animals, fruit trees, and evergreens.

Full of energy, the three boys walked ahead of their dad, and pretty soon, they were out of sight.

It wasn’t long before their dad heard the boys laughing. When he caught up to them, he asked why they were laughing. They told their dad that they heard a deer blow its nose. All of a sudden, they heard it blow its nose again!

Their dad looked over to see a large deer, called a buck, standing nearby. He told the boys to walk away very slowly. The boys listened to their dad and moved a safe distance away.

Back on the trail, their dad explained that the buck wasn’t blowing its nose, but grunting, and ready to charge at them. The boys wondered why. He explained that they had been standing between the buck and the Mama deer, called a doe, and her baby, called a fawn.

Their dad warned them not to go ahead of him again because they could be seriously hurt. The three boys listened to their dad and stayed by his side for the rest of the hike. As they walked, their dad explained that if they were really quiet, they would see more wildlife. The boys were very quiet, hoping to see more animals.

On the trail, they saw birds, fish in the stream, more deer, and even a fox!

The three boys swung on a vine hanging from a tree after their dad assured them it was safe.

Once the boys grew tired, they started back to the campsite with their dad. On the return trip, they saw some apple trees and decided to pick some for a snack after dinner. Once they returned to the campsite, they told their mom all about the things they had seen.

After dinner, the boys sat on the hood of the car eating their apples. Their dad told them to be sure to throw their apple cores in the trash after they were done. And later, when their dad asked if they had remembered to throw away their apple cores, all three of the boys said, “Yes.”

Once the children were in bed, the adults hung out by the campfire and played cards by the lantern. All of a sudden, there was a loud bang. It scared all of the grown-ups!

After investigating the sound, the boys’ parents saw the cause of the noise. A raccoon had jumped from a tree onto the hood of the car, eating the boys’ apple cores! They had left their trash on the hood after all. The raccoon left a dent on the hood before scurrying away.

The next morning, the boys’ parents explained what had happened. The boys admitted that they had lied and knew they were in trouble. All three of them were sorry, but they still had to face the consequences.

Parent/Child Discussion

Do you know what consequences are? Consequences are what someone has to face when they choose to do the wrong thing. When children get in trouble, it doesn’t mean their parents don’t love them. In fact, when parents enforce the right punishment, it actually shows children that they love them very much. Facing consequences helps people make the right choices the next time. Does that make sense?

What consequences do you think the boys in the story should have had? Perhaps, they should have had to pick up trash around the campsite. Or, maybe they should have had to leave their vacation early. Maybe, the boys should have been required to save their money to help pay for the dent in their parent’s car. What do you think?

The moral of this story is simple. Be honest and do not lie to your parents. Is that something you can remember?

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