Children’s books may be on the lighter side, but they are heavy with wisdom. Imaginative authors seek to inspire children and open their eyes to how amazingly wonderful but sometimes tough the world can be. Over the years, these talented authors have assembled enough knowledge to be able to teach children many extremely valuable life lessons. Here are some of our favorites:
“You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.” ~ A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh
Pooh Bear may have seemed a bit slow, but what he really was instead was patient and a great observer. His philosopher-like approach to life even inspired a profound spiritual guide in the form of The Tao of Pooh.
Pooh’s quote above signifies that when we sometimes feel down, distraught, lonely or even stagnant in life, the problem could be that you are not taking enough initiative. With a proactive attitude, you can meet new people and opportunities head on — a great lesson for young children.
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” ~ Dr. Seuss, The Lorax
Doctor Seuss was typically all about having fun and teaching basic learning concepts. With The Lorax, though, he drives a much more crucial and somber message home. The Lorax’s urging communicates to children that wrongs in this world are not automatically righted without someone stepping up to do the work needed. Injustices and irresponsible behavior can only be remedied by people who have the passion and motivation to correct them.
“It has been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. My mom says some days are like that.” ~ Judith Viorst, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
The tone of Viorst’s Alexander book is quite a stark contrast from the happy-go-lucky subject matter of many other children’s books. It has an important lesson, though: not every day is going to work out in your favor.
This home truth is part of becoming an adult and taking bad luck in stride rather than wallowing in self-pity. While Alexander may want to pout the entire day away, his mother teaches him to roll with punches and give life another chance tomorrow.
“To the tiger in the zoo Madeline just said, ‘Pooh-pooh.'” ~ Ludwig Bemelmans, Madeline
This quote may not seem like much on the surface, but it is another facet of the intriguing Madeline’s unflappable nature. Madeline is the smallest of all Miss Clavel’s class, but she is by far the most brave and feisty. When facing dangers or new experiences, Madeline meets them head on with every ounce of courage she can muster.
“Never do anything by halves if you want to get away with it. Be outrageous. Go the whole hog. Make sure everything you do is so completely crazy it’s unbelievable.” ~ Roald Dahl, Matilda
Roald Dahl was definitely a man who ran with this philosophy. His books were often strange and quite unlike other children’s fiction published at the time, but that unique spark is precisely what makes them so popular to this day.
Matilda encourages others to adopt this philosophy by committing to ideas that may seem far off the beaten path. Children can often learn to hide their differences in an effort to fit in and avoid negative attention, but Matilda wants her readers to know that art and other amazing accomplishments can only come when you commit yourself to something 100 percent, even if it feels a bit crazy.
Lessons like these are incredibly important to establish great attitudes and a positive frame of reference for children. You can teach a child a huge amount with the poignant messages found in storybooks. Take a look at our free children’s storybooks to start introducing your children to great morals and examples of how to make the world a better place.