Life Lessons Taught in Children’s Books
Who doesn’t remember stories like Goldilock and the Three Bears, Little Red Riding Hood, or Pinnochio? Everyone seems to have a favorite story from their childhood that had an impact on their life. These are among the best children’s books that teach a lesson because they have all of the elements of a great story along with the morals that kids need to help develop their sense of what is right.
But what is it about these best children’s books that teach a lesson that sticks with us? All children’s books have an element of entertainment to them. They wouldn’t be best sellers or classics without this. Kids like to laugh, have fun, experience a mystery, or go on an adventure in their minds. But is there another element of children’s stories that makes them memorable?
When Goldilocks enters the three bears’ den, what does she find? She finds their bowls of porridge, their effects, and finally, their beds, which she decides to try out. One by one, she tries out the food and lodging of all three bears and decides on the baby bear’s porridge and bedding as the perfect solution for her needs.
Unfortunately, the bears return home to find her still sleeping in the baby bear’s bed. She is so scared when she wakes up to see the bears she runs from the house into the woods! This delightful tale is not just about a blonde-headed girl who comes across a bear’s home and eats their food. It’s about the ethics of not taking what is not rightfully yours, even if you think you are entitled.
A good book, whether it is one of the best children’s books that teach a lesson or one written for adults, has an element of ethics in it. If you think about it, all of the great classics that were written over the years have a strong educational component. For example, who can think of The Grapes of Wrath without thinking about how the Great Depression hit people hard financially and caused people to be forced out of their homes to survive.
You can’t think about Shakespeare’s Hamlet without remembering how the rage that Hamlet had though understandable given the circumstances created even more tragedy in Hamlet’s life. It also caused others to suffer due to Hamlet’s seemingly uncontrollable rage.
Best Children’s Books that Teach a Lesson
Below are some excellent examples of children’s books that teach a lesson. A few of them are among the best children’s books of all time, while others are new books that have only been around awhile. Each of the children’s books that teach a lesson has an important goal. That is to help kids learn morals that are significant to their lives.
The lesson of The Three Pigs
In the children’s classic, The Three Little Pigs, kids are taught the valuable lesson of preparing for an uncertain future because a big, bad wolf (or something like it) could come knocking on your door. If the pigs had prepared properly, they would have all built houses made of brick, to begin with, rather than to risk their lives and waste time on houses made of sand and straw. The foolish pigs ended up running to the third pig’s house in a panic near the end of the book to escape danger. Waiting until the last minute to prepare is not the best way to handle problems.
This story is considered one of the best children’s books because of the morals taught therein as well as entertainment value.
Identifying the specific theme and subsequent moral within various best children’s books is both subjective and personal. Though the author usually does have a particular moral in mind that he or she wished to communicate, but the reader filters the story through their own experiences and moral compass to come up with the conclusions they draw.
This is what is meant by “internalizing the narrative” of these best children’s books, and it helps connect the reader to the text on a more personal level.
Teachers and counselors sometimes use the moral aspect of a storyline to aid in the therapeutic benefit of the reading experience. It is even used in clinical therapy to some degree. Many clinical therapists call this “bibliotherapy.” Using books to help people cope with real-life situations is a unique approach that has sometimes known to be effective in assisting people in learning important life lessons.
For children who read stories from the best children’s books that teach a lesson with a moral reasoning aspect, one story can make a difference in how they relate to others or help them learn to make friends, for example. There is a lot of value in children’s literature that can be entertaining, as well as putting in a strong moral theme that focuses on doing the right thing.
Some of the best didactic or best children’s books for kids or best children’s books that teach a lesson are listed below with a brief description.
1. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
In this story about a boy who starts off the day with a problem that keeps getting worse, a meaningful discussion can ensue about whether it was just “bad luck” that causes Alexander’s problems or if he created most of the issues himself due to his awful choices. This book is considered one of the best children’s books because of its morals and ethics as well as the humorous element of everything going wrong at the same time.
2. David Gets in Trouble
In this didactic tale about a boy named David, a boy continues to get in trouble but always says, “It’s not my fault!” Similar to Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, this book teaches responsibility for one’s actions in a world that inherently points the finger at others when they encounter adversity and reverses the “victim mentality” that so many uses today to get out of a jam.
3. The Little Engine that Could
Who doesn’t remember this book about the little train engine headed up a mountain with a load of coal? He sees the mountain before him, and it seems impossible. The height of the hill reaches so high that he thinks there is no way to achieve it. Then, as he keeps trying, it gets a little easier. He begins to believe that he can make it after all, despite how hard it is to chug up the mountain with his heavy load. To help him reach his goal, he begins to chant, “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can” up the mountain.
Before long, his load starts to feel lighter because he has fed his mind with positive thoughts. Determined to reach his goal, he continues to chant the positive self-talk until he reaches his goal. He succeeds! This book is a great book to teach perseverance in the face of challenges. It is read by thousands of teachers, parents, and kids to help enforce this value.
4. The Lion and the Mouse
In one of the best children’s books that teach a lesson, an unlikely friendship develops when a lion, which is about to eat a mouse, discovers that the mouse is to become his best friend when he frees his paw from a trap laid out by a poacher. Since the mouse saved the lion’s life, the lion feels that he owes the mouse a debt of gratitude and lets him live. Later, they realize that their friendship is valuable to them both, and they vow to be friends forever. This delightful tale between two unlikely pals teaches kids the importance of having good friends to help us work through our problems. This book also opens up a discussion about how one should not act too quickly but take time to think things through until the right time to make the soundest judgment.
5. A Happy Helper
This is a new, but perhaps one of the best, children’s books from the authors of the “Tator Tot” series about a bulldog who learns valuable life lessons through experience. In this story, Tator Tot makes a mistake that jeopardizes a big birthday party. Things look disastrous until he learns his lesson about how he let others down and repays Chef Paul by getting his friends to help save the party.
The primary lesson learned in this story by Laura Holman Byrne is how important it is to do what you say you’re going to do when others are counting on you. It is also funny and has a strong element of entertaining that kids love. This book comes in either hardcover or paperback versions and is available at both Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Will this book be one of the best children’s books in the future? Perhaps so!
What are the components of a good children’s book?
Children’s literature experts state that there are five major components to any good children’s book. They are listed below.
The title is a crucial component of a children’s story. It is the first thing that catches the eye of a child searching for a good book or a teacher or parent who wants to find a good story. Titles can tell a lot about a book, including what the story is about and the characters in the book.
2. Popular Theme
Having a popular or strong moral theme is essential to a successful children’s book. If it were not for the moral teaching in a story such as The Lion and the Mouse, all you would have is a book with a simple theme that would seem insignificant. It is only when the author creates a situation where the lion must depend on the little mouse for his very life that it turns into a memorable story of love and compassion that one creature has for another. And, since the mouse showed mercy on the lion, the lion shows mercy to the mouse that he would normally have swatted with one paw and eaten alive.
3. Memorable Characters
Another thing that makes a great children’s story is the use of unforgettable characters that kids can relate to. In Tater Tot’s Life Lessons, Tater Tot is the main character, and he learns valuable lessons and morals that make him a better character through his experiences.
His friends also become relevant to the stories because they are there helping him with solutions to solve the problems and predicaments he gets himself into. Being able to relate to a central character or characters and care what happens to them is an essential step toward creating a connection between the reader and the text and increasing the positive results of the book. This is what makes a book one of the best children’s books of all time.
The plot of these best children’s books helps shape the way the story will go and creates interest among readers. Creating an exciting plot will determine whether a reader stays with the story or not. Even if you have a great theme in a book, but the reader doesn’t stay with it until the end, they will never get to the theme the author is trying to make. The plot is the vehicle that carries the story through to the lesson.
5. Setting and Conclusion
The setting helps set the stage for the mood and tone of the story. Creating the best place and time for a story to occur is just as significant as a good storyline and theme. Good children’s authors know how to set the stage for the rest of the story using an appropriate setting.
The conclusion should bring everything together and offer some solutions for the crisis or problem within the story. This is where the theme becomes more apparent, and the events of the story come together to form a conclusion.
Why Life Lessons are Important
Young people are sometimes confused in our changing world. They often get mixed messages on what is important and how to make the best decisions. While the way people make decisions may be based on a variety of sources, the basic idea of morality, such as respecting others, being compassionate, and helping those in need is still relevant today. Perhaps it is even more crucial when young people get such mixed messages from sources that do not always base their ideas on the best sources.
About the Tater Tot Series
The Tator Tot series features a loveable and cute bulldog named Tater Tot, who lives high up in a skyrise hotel called The Chase Hotel. He loves to experience new things and have adventures. Every day he goes out to play and talk to his friends where something exciting eventually happens to stir up things.
Tater Tot is a sweet dog, but sometimes (like the rest of us), he makes mistakes. He learns valuable lessons, like the importance of friendship and integrity. He enjoys playing and learning valuable lessons.
The way the Tater Tot series is laid out is ideal for the young learner, and many who have read the book to their youngsters have reported with rave reviews of the series.
Meet the Author
Laura Byrne is the author and chief biographer of the Tater Tot book series. She feels it is important to use her stories to teach skills to children while providing them with a fun story, too.
Laura feels it is vital to teach moral lessons to kids through stories that have a lasting impact on their lives. Whether it is Pinnochio who had to learn not to lie or Little Red Riding Hood, who learns not to trust strangers, all of these lessons are important to enriching and guiding young people.
What better way to teach these lessons and morals than in the books they are already reading?
Teachers and parents can check out the entire saga of Mr. Tater Tot and the adventures of his friends on their main site at https://mrtatertot.com/.
Keep up with the latest adventures of Tater Tot and friends and learn more about what inspired this exciting children’s book series. This may be considered one of the best children’s books in the near future!