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Great life lessons from 5 classic children’s books

Fictional children’s books are a fabulous learning resource.  The characters are easy to relate to and help to grab and keep children’s attention. They also build reading skills better than a bland textbook. Whether made up stories or not, children’s books teach important life lessons that can help your children in their future.

  1. The little engine that could

lesson; anything is possible if you believe in yourself

This is a timeless story about a train stranded at the bottom of a large mountain in need of an engine that can pull it over to the other side.  The train asks several engines, all of which refuse,  except for one little engine.  While pulling the long train up the mountain the engine repeats a mantra “i think i can, i think i can, i think i can, and the engine does.

If you think you can do something and keep pushing yourself, you can do things you didn’t think possible.

2. Oh, the places you’ll go

lesson; if you don’t like where you are, choose a path and keep going

This story is about a boy who goes out into the world alone. The boy goes through several ups and downs. Dr Seuss offers advice and encouragement through each situation seamlessly weaving empowerment with fun.

You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.

The story teaches the importance of progression, that no matter where you are, you should keep moving

3. Where the wild things are

lesson; imagination is powerful

The biggest lesson from this book is that imagination is not a tool for escaping reality but for learning life lessons. Max, the star of the story is sent to his room for being wild. While there, he imagines a world full of monsters and comes to an understanding about himself that he would not have otherwise had.

4. The giving tree

lesson; be generous and consider how your actions affect other people

This wonderfully simple story about a growing boy and a giving tree that does everything it can to make the boy happy. As the boy gets older, he visits the giving tree less and less.

The reader sympathizes with the tree which gives love and generosity while the boy comes out as selfish. This story may be interpreted as a parent child relationship.

5. The very hungry caterpillar

lesson; keep going and you will be surprised how you grow

This story is about a caterpillar who eats a lot, gets sick and then becomes a butterfly. The book illustrates that sometimes life changing moments happen after friction

The moral of the story

Whether in real life or a fantasy world, children’s books can are a great way for children to learn simple life lessons.

What’s your favorite children’s book and why? Share it’s lessons in the comments section below



First published at Edudemic


Leah was born and raised in Kenya. She divides her time between article writing, blogging and creating original African pieces. She provides her writing services independently and can be found odesk. When she isn’t hunched over a computer, she’s out being inspired by nature.
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