Our four year old neighbor has developed a fondness for doodling in library books-- Gasp! According to her mom she is not remorseful in the least, either. I suggested having her confess to the librarians herself in hopes that they would give her a little scolding that might stick.
Based on personal experience, I thought for sure that would work. When I was five and my brother was three we found a strawberry patch and picked and ate up all the fruit. The only problem was that the "patch" was actually our neighbor's garden. When my mother discovered our larceny, she told us we had to go next door and knock on the door to apologize.
We lived in a Levitt community, and our cookie cutter houses were not that far apart, but on that day it seemed like a journey of a thousand miles from our pink colonial to their neat gray rancher. There was a little hill between our yards and I remember sitting on that dip in the soft green grass weeping and trying to summon the courage to go over there and make things right, but I just couldn't do it. The guilt and the fear were too overwhelming.
Finally my mom came out and took us by the hands and led us to our neighbor's front porch. There she knocked on the door and stepped back. When Mrs. Huddleston opened the door, I burst into tears again. "Tracey and Billy have something to tell you," my mother started sternly. We confessed through sobs and were summarily forgiven. In retrospect, I think she was a little horrified at the tearful drama unfolding on her stoop. You can bet that those strawberries were safe from us after that.
I can't say the same for the library books... Savannah blithely apologized and was warmly absolved by a friendly librarian. She got off easy.