Who is in charge of teaching our kids to be responsible stewards for the world we occupy? Whether it is being unselfish and to care for our fellows or to just appreciate the beautiful world we live in and care for it, this rather important life lesson is underprioritized and no one is actively imparting it to our children. As a parent, nanny or their Kindergarten teacher you might provide a contextual example or two but there is no active and structured curricula for this. Parents, nannies, kindergarten teachers and kids libraries must augment the effort best they can.
It is true that young kids are deflected from focusing on winning in sports by not keeping score. It is also true that there is an emphasis on sharing and taking turns in their continually more material world. However there is little that teaches them to actually help others or even just appreciate how precariously beautiful our world is. If we do not address this then the battle is lost and we create both a selfish adult-to-be and a bad world ethos in general.
Caring for others: Sharing and taking turns is good but does not approach the spirit of service to one’s fellows. My favorite books talking about service are “The Giving Tree” which has both great and bad reactions from readers and “How To Heal A Broken Wing”. Here is a list of kids books that exemplify and teach service. However, none of these books show the real world or its beauty. Are there books that do that without being overly moral?
Consider “The Parrots With Rainbow Feathers” where one incredibly pretty and endangered parrot helps its companion:
and “The Good Guira Cuckoos” where a rather naughty looking bird first finds food and then ensures each in his flock gets what they need:
These books are different from the average illustrated kids books in that they not only impart the valuable lesson of service but also clearly depict the natural beauty and wonder of our world which children should know and care about.
Caring for nature: Below are two more such books that show endangered wildlife. Imagine if your child never saw a tiger or a snow leopard, or did not appreciate them and went on in life to do nothing at all about the endangered status of these wonderful big cats. And these books each have their own messages too!
“The Sleepy Tiger” for bedtime:
“The Silly Snow Leopards” and how they know when to listen to mama:
Lets make sure we inculcate in our kids a sense of being kind and useful to others — both our own kind and the other wonderful beautiful citizens of our world!