Children’s books are an essential part of their education and general development. They provide an introduction to one of the most important skills that we have as human beings – the ability to tell, understand and learn from a story. If we had not developed this skill then we would still be trying to make fire in a cave somewhere.
Children can learn so much of life from the simple books they read or have read to them from when they are small. These normally come in the shape of particular moral tales that teach them the best way to live their life or lessons that will prove useful in situations later in life.
But how best to deliver these messages in ways children will understand? With animals of course! Certain animals are ideally suited to be used as vehicles for giving these messages just because of their attributes. Here are some examples:
Lion – Pride
The lion is a proud animal; as the males lord over their (aptly named) pride with authority and the females defend their young with real ferocious strength. It is easy therefore to show in illustrations of a lion being typically proud and when coupled with a tale highlighting how pride can lead to a fall the message is successfully delivered.
Moral – If you are too confident in yourself it is likely something bad will happen that will show you aren’t that great after all.
Chameleon – Being Different
In case you don’t know a chameleon is a reptile that can change its skin colour to match its surroundings in a truly stunning demonstration of Mother Nature at work. This also is a perfect animal to use for conveying the message that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.
Moral – You should never judge the worth or value of something based on its appearance alone.
Chicken – Planning
A great moral to teach kids is that they should put all their eggs in one basket. Chickens of course do indeed keep all their eggs in one nest, making them a fairly obvious choice to deliver this message.
Moral – Don’t put all your faith in one thing or you may live to regret it.
Hyena – Over Confidence
Children can be very competitive especially if they are members of sports teams. This makes it important to teach them the moral saying: he who laughs last, laughs best, and who better to deliver that message than the loudest laughing animal of all!
Moral – Don’t celebrate (laugh) too soon as you may not prevail in the end.
Pig – Vanity
While some people may think that pigs are just as cute as puppies and kittens, most people have used them as an example of something ugly for a long time. This makes them ideal candidates to deliver the message that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Moral – Not everyone has the same idea of what is beautiful.
What is your favourite moral message and what animal would you consider best at delivering it?