Thousand Star Hotel: A Picture Book That Teaches Lesson on Wants vs. Needs

Updated on March 17, 2017
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Cindy Hewitt is a retired teacher with a passion for children's literature. Read-aloud stories add quality to a child's life experiences.

Teaching the Lesson That We Sometimes Already Have What We Need

Children often have long lists of things that they wish for and want. Teaching the lesson of wants vs. needs is a hard lesson for children to think about in today's society. The popular Okee Dokee brothers are here to help with their new picture book Thousand Star Hotel. Many parents will remember the old tale of The Fisherman and His Wife that they read as children. This new picture book will remind them of the lessons learned when we discover that we sometimes already have what we want and also need.

Mr. and Mrs. Muskrat live near a river and fishing is their favorite activity. Mr. Muskrat has a wish to become rich. Mrs. Muskrat just wishes to always catch enough for one meal. A surprising catch of a giant golden catfish offers the chance to make a wish that will change their lives. The fish offers to grant one wish if they will return him to the river. They agree to let the fish return to the river and he keeps his promise to grant one wish to them.

Mr. and Mrs. Muskrat have different ideas as to what their wish should be. Mr. Muskrat would like his wish for riches and luxuries to be granted. Mrs. Muskrat would like a more simple wish for something that they actually need. The decision is finally made for a luxury hotel with the classification of five stars. The fish is returned to the river after the wish is granted. The muskrats return home to to find that their old home is still there, but with a surprise that their wish for a "thousand star hotel" actually has been granted. The surprise ending shows that we sometimes already have what we wish for.

Large colorful illustrations and easy to read text make this new picture book a great read-aloud for teaching the lesson of wants vs. needs. The Okee Dokee brothers have included a CD with 11 new songs and an audio book. Thousand Star Hotel was published by Sterling Children's Books and has an ISBN of 9781454918301. It is recommended for ages 5-10.

New Picture Book for Teaching Life Lesson About Wants vs. Needs

Large colorful illustrations
Large colorful illustrations
The wish is granted.
The wish is granted.

Get Acquainted with the Okee Dokee Brothers and Illustrator Brandon Reese

The Okee Dokee brothers have once again used their love for the outdoors to produce their second book Thousand Star Hotel for young readers. They also have used their love for music to include a new CD with 11 new songs. The brothers are Grammy winners for their music and are also three-time winners of the Parents' Choice Award. You may visit their website at

Brandon Reese contributes his talents as an illustrator to Thousand Star Hotel with large colorful illustrations. He also has contributed his artwork for the Okee Dokee brothers' album covers. You may visit his website at

Meet the Okee Dokee Brothers and Their Talented Illustrator Brandon Reese

Authors and Illustrator
Authors and Illustrator | Source

What Do Your Children Wish For?

Teaching the life lesson of wants vs. needs is a lesson that parents struggle with. Our children are bombarded in society by media that tells them what to wish for and what are classified as "wants". Children have the belief that these are also things that they need. Using fun read aloud picture books such as Thousand Star Hotel is an easy way to teach this lesson. The little muskrats wish for a magical way to become rich and their wish is granted in showing them that they already have what they want and also what they need.

Parents and children will enjoy this recommended activity after reading Thousand Star Hotel. Make two columns on a large sheet of paper. One column should be labeled for Wants and one column for Needs. Provide advertising flyers, catalogs, and magazines for children to cut out pictures of objects that they can choose for each column. Glue their chosen items in the columns of their choices. Your children's choices will give you an insight into their ideas about what they classify as wants and needs. This activity might surprise you as to how your children think about this concept.

Mr. and Mrs Muskrat Discover That They Already Have Both a Want and Need

Surprise ending shows that their wish was granted for both wants and needs.
Surprise ending shows that their wish was granted for both wants and needs. | Source

Wants and Needs for Children

How do you teach your children about this life concept?

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