Friday, August 17, 2012

Teaching Children to Respect People and Animals Through Books

A Childhood Favorite
These days, I find myself re-reading some of my favorite books from childhood, including The Wind in the Willows, Charlotte's Web, Black Beauty, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. What is it about these books that I find so comforting? Is it nostalgia, a wish to escape the harsh realities of the present day, or simply a desire to reconnect with my inner child. I don't know the answer. However, one thing these books have in common is that they teach people about prejudices, and how to be tolerant and respectful of other people and animals.

Not a day goes by when the media doesn't inform us of some mass shooting or some other form of violence inflicted on people or animals. So how do we as a society change? Stricter laws, harsher penalties, more prisons, . . . There's no one answer; however, one thing that works: have young people read books. Books are incredibly powerful and are an amazing teaching tool. Here are some of my favorites. They entertain while teaching valuable life lessons. 

  • A book that I wish the Obama's had read before they got their Portuguese Water Dog. What a wonderful example it would have been for the President to adopt a rescue dog.

  • The vegan lifestyle isn't for everybody, but this book lets children learn about an alternative to our meat obsessed world.   

  • Having good manners is never out of style. 

  • A funny and timeless story about our environment and how to protect it. 

  • It's not wise to be connected 24/7.

  • A witty and lighthearted look at race relations when a cat couple is startled to discover that their newborn is a dog!

  • A tale of vanity versus humility. 

  • Funny and hilarious! I can read this book again and again. (I've been told that I resemble the dragon.)

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