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Children's Books to Teach Your Kids Meaningful Values

Children's Books to Teach Your Kids Meaningful Values

Growing up, my parents made sure I always had a good book to read. This came in handy especially when my friends were unavailable to play along. Instead of turning to the television, I picked up a book. My reading journey started with picture books and champaks, and soon evolved into children’s illustrated classics. Reading regularly not only helped my writing and reading skills, but also helped me concentrate better on tasks. Reading stories also helped me communicate better.

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Cultivating a reading habit during childhood helped me exercise my imagination. It boosted my creativity. Every book I read made me feel more confident in myself and my reading abilities. Books helped me bond better with my parents and my little sister. These books helped me deepen my understanding of the world, and the society we live in. Reading these books was a fun activity, and a great way to learn values. Children’s Classics have ample lessons to learn about truth, friendships, families, love, and loss. Some of these books stayed with me long after I had turned the last page.

1. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
Children's Books to Teach Your Kids Meaningful Values

Anne imagines better. Anne’s life is far from perfect. Before arriving at Green Gables, she was an orphan and was made to earn her daily wages by working for large families who were often very cruel towards her. But she took it all in stride, by imagining her circumstances to be better. She takes advantage of her overactive imagination in hard situations to help her get through cruel times and it is this habit of hers that helps her to retain her innocence and hopefulness throughout her life. Lucy Maud Montgomery’s brave and charismatic heroine, Anne Shirley is such an inspiration to children worldwide. I can assure you adults are going it to love her too as I re-read this classic well into my twenties. Anne Shirley is dramatic, but she is never pretentious. She is nothing if not plain honest. She is not afraid to speak her mind. When any adult character spoke unkindly to her, she snapped back with a fitting, yet respectful reply. Anne was never afraid to challenge the system, and she is bound to pass that same bravery and integrity on to the readers, old or young. Last, but not least, Anne teaches us the value of kindred spirits and friendships. Whether you have been the best of friends with the same person since kindergarten, or it took you years to find just the right person, reading all about Anne and Diana’s friendship will teach you to value the people who really understand. True friends don’t come along every day, so hold on tight and never let them go.

2. Matilda by Roald Dahl
Children's Books to Teach Your Kids Meaningful Values

Matilda is one of Roald Dahl's most popular stories, and my personal childhood favorite. I came across this book at my school library when I was in 5th grade, and the story has stayed with me ever since. It only grows more relevant each year. This is the story of a little girl with a big brain and mysterious magical powers, her helpful and loving teacher Miss Honey and her formidable Headmistress Miss Trunchbull. This book has touched a chord in the hearts of parents and children alike for generations since it was first published in 1988. Matilda is a little girl who is far too kind, far too smart, and far too good to be true. She has the ability to process information well above her reading grade, and she is wise beyond her years. What is more remarkable is that her classmates love her even though she is the teacher’s favorite. This will resonate with a lot of children who are afraid to be called the teacher’s pet or be named the class nerd. But Matilda’s world is not perfect either. For starter, she has very dim, self-centered, and abusive parents. She also has a nightmare of a headmistress, Trunchbull, who is horrifyingly cruel. Fortunately for Matilda, she has her kind teacher, Mis Honey, and the inner resources to deal with such things: kindness, astonishing intelligence, and patience. The best part- books are her best friends!

3. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Children's Books to Teach Your Kids Meaningful Values

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett is one of the most delightful and memorable classics of children's literature. It has remained a constant favorite with children and adults worldwide ever since its publication as a serial story in 1910 in The American Magazine. It was published in the novel form in 1911. The plot centers round Mary Lennox, a young girl who returns to England from India after the death of her parents in a cholera epidemic. Emotionally traumatized, Mary has no pleasant memories of her parents as they were selfish and neglectful. The immense beauty of this celebrated novel lies in the fact that it doesn't mesmerize readers with knights or wicked witches. It's simply about growing, learning, and exploring your surroundings, and meeting people who make you a better person. Instead of looking like a fairy tale, it resembles daily life. The characters face the same emotional traumas of grief and death that we do today. The book also teaches us to learn to live without extravagance and luxuries because it will change our life for the better. We must learn to be humble. Though the protagonist, Mary, grew up without the love and attention of her parents, she had immense privilege coming from an aristocratic background. She had everything at her disposal- toys, a surplus of food and edible treats, and everything else that she wanted. But she learned that it is only through not having enough, or trying to live without something you need, that you learn to truly value what you have. When Mary arrives in England at first, she refuses to eat and throws away meals. It is then that Martha expresses how lucky Mary is as her twelve siblings often go to bed on an empty stomach. This book will take young readers closer to Nature with vivid descriptions of gardens. It also taught me that animals can be my greatest friends as I read about Mary form friendly bonds with a robin. I taught me that such friendships are as real as any and they are not something to belittle.

4. Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne
Children's Books to Teach Your Kids Meaningful Values

Winnie the Pooh is A.A. Milne’s collection of stories about Christopher Robin and his stuffed animal friends, particularly the kind, honey-loving bear, Winnie-the-Pooh. Pooh had taught us so much about the real meaning of friendship, and how to care for your friends. Even in the toughest of times, Pooh and friends stick it out together. In A.A. Milne’s stories, dark times never last, but friendships do. Pooh reminds us to have self-belief, and to be kinder to ourselves and those around us. Pooh Bear’s friends encourage us to look onto the brighter side of things. Even Eeyore, who seems upset all the time, finds the silver lining in many situations. He has loving friends who never abandon him, and always invite him to play. They are very considerate of his feelings and are always trying to cheer him up.

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- Sharmistha Jha

To read more articles written by Sharmistha Jha - CLICK HERE


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