Sometimes a Children's story is just a story, and sometimes it is a story with a hidden meaning. Of course to children, they are always stories but us parents hope they can get the special lesson that some of them hide.
I recently came across my old Sweet Pickles collection of books. Do you remember those or I am dating myself? My sister and I loved reading them as each animal had its own story and lesson involved. Check out the link to view all of the titles, like the one below. I loved reading these and they each taught a lesson such as being selfish, dealing with temper tantrums, being sad, etc.
I also remember loving my Richard Scarry manners book, and the funny thing was that at the time, I had no idea my parents were trying to have me learn 'manners'. I thought it was just a fun and silly storybook!
There are a bunch of children's books out there that have morales and lessons for children. In fact, most books do have a morale of a story. Even night time books like Goodnight Moon, send the message to babies and children that it's time to go to sleep.
When your child reaches a certain age, it's good to read them stories and then talk about the messages they have at the end. Such as reading Alexander and the Horrible, Terrible, No Good Very Bad Day. It teaches children that everyone has bad days, but in the end, it's not so bad after all. You can read the story to your child and then tailor it to something going on in their lives or to help teach them about life. "Sometimes kids have bad days just like Alexander did, but remember that even though it seems like the end of the world, things do get better!"
I have a TON of favorite childrens books! There are obviously classics like The Ugly Duckling, Cinderella, etc. and I may end up having more and more posts on books, but for right now, I am posting my faves that teach good lessons.
Here are some of my favorites and the messages they teach:
1. Dealing with things that don't go our way: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. See above. Love this one and still quote it myself when I am having a bad day :). You can order at Amazon here (photo from Amazon).
2. Being picked on/made fun of: Chrysanthemum(from Amazon.com below). A sweet story of a girl names Chrysanthemum who gets picked on in school because of her name, but in the end becomes proud of her name and her self esteem increases. (photo credit from Amazon)
2. Teaching non-fighting/pacifism: The Story of Ferdinand. You can purchase from Amazon here (photo credited to amazon.com). A story of a bull in Spain who chooses picking flowers vs. being in a bull fight. (photo credit from Amazon)
3. Separation Anxiety: Llama Llama Red Pajama at Amazon here. A cute story of a baby Llama who cries out for his mom at night, but learns that even if his mom is not right there, she is close by and still loves him. (photo credit from Amazon)
4. Imagination and dramatic play: Where the Wild Things Are at Amazon here. A classic story about a boy who gets sent to his room and creates a wild imaginative play land. (photo credit from Amazon)
5. Teaches the gift of giving: The Giving Tree at Amazon here. A story, kind of sad, about a boy that receives gifts from a tree and how generous the tree is and how sometimes people can be selfish, but in the end teaches unconditional love. (photo credit from Amazon)
6. ADHD and inattention: If You Give a Mouse A Cookieat Amazon here. This is a great story about a mouse that asks for one thing after another and is a great cause and effect story that you can teach about ADHD symptoms.(photo credit from Amazon)
7. A story about unconditional love: The Velveteen Rabbitat Amazon here. This one reminds me of Toy Story and the love a boy has for a toy and a lesson about beauty and real, unconditional love. (photo credit from Amazon)
8. Sleep/nightime book: This doesn't really teach a lesson but is my favorite story to read to kids at night! Kiss Good Night(order at Amazon here). The story of Sam the bear and his mom tucking him into bed at night, and remembering the best good night routine is giving the good night kiss, "and she bent way down kissing once, twice and then twice more!" (photo credit from Amazon)
9. Anger/temper tantrums: When Sophie Gets Angry (at Amazon here) is a story about a girl named Sophie and teaches how every kid gets mad, and how to release your anger in a good way. It teaches a good message that anger is OK! as long as the behaviors involved are not hurtful. (photo credit from Amazon)
10. Teaches caring: Pierre (at Amazon here). Not my favorite book out there, but I love the cute illustrations and the constant "I don't care, said Pierre" lines. It also teaches the art of kindness. (photo credit from Amazon)