Monday, 16 September 2013

Children's books that teach values.

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by Michael Morpugo
A truly epic tale of courage and honour.

Noguchi the Samurai
Wits are the greatest weapon of all and this is one of my very favourite children's books ever written.
Please see my complete review:

The Empty Pot by Demi
Another of my  favourite books. Teaches honesty, courage, and giving your best effort. A beautiful story in which the emperor decides his successor by giving all the children a seed and seeing who can grow the most beautiful flower. Ping has always been a talented gardener, but his seed never grows. In all humility he presents the emperor with an empty pot, but there is a twist to this story and a wonderful moral.

Little Monkey's Journey: Retold in English and Chinese by Li Jan
Respect for parents, kindness, courage.

The Water Dragon A Chinese Legend - Jian Li
"Self discovery, kindness, helping others"

Jin Jin The Dragon - Grace Chang
"Self discovery, kindness, helping others"

Jin Jin and Rain Wizard by Grace Chang
How to right a wrong, courage, forgiveness,  and not being wasteful

Leo the Late Bloomer - Robert Kraus
Believing in yourself, giving everyone time to blossom/

Tree of Cranes by Allen Say
Obedience and respect for parents, a mother's love.

The Koi Who Cried Wolf by Katina Lawdis
A beautifully illustrated and unique retelling of the famous tale. If you don't chose this though, do tell some version of this story.

The Snow Dragon by Vivian French
Courage, self sacrifice, love

The Muffin Muncher by Stephen Cosgrove
Helping others allows others to help you

Trafalgar True (Serendipity) by Stephen Cosgrove

Zen Shorts by Jon J. Muth
Zen Koans in an easy to understand format for children. We especially loved a story of Good Luck or bad luck - showing how what looks like a bad luck may work out for the best - or vise versa.

The Emperor's New Clothes
There are several versions of this. You can choose any, read an online story or simply tell it from memory. But every child needs to hear this. This teaches the most critical skill - question everything.

My Bedtime Anytime Story Book by V. Gilbert Beers

This one  was written by a prolific Christian author, and is wonderful for teaching Christian ethics to very young children, but does not specifically mention religion. It has wonderful lessons in life for friendship, honesty, forgiveness and more relevant to all children. It has lovely animal cartoon characters and is a wonderful collection of stories which are both fun and educational.

The Usborne Illustrated Tales of the Knights of King Arthur
These stories form the backbone of chivalry, honest and courage in a young reader. I will never forget my oldest son listening to these at age 4. Not long afterwards he saw some bullies tormenting a little girl. The bullies were twice his size, but he marched up to them , demanded the wee girls tea set be handed over to him, then  returned it to the crying girl, comforted her, and helped her gather her things.

The Usborne Illustrated Norse Myths. 
Another good one for courage and honour, as well as loyalty, and perhaps thinking things through carefully.

The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm
This one needs no introduction. It should be on every families bookshelf. True some stories are silly and not relevant today, but many others contain the body very oldest wisdom of our people.  The stories teach both morality and common sense and connect children to a small portion of their heritage.

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