An absolutely wonderful read-aloud. Perfect for preschoolers up to elementary-aged children.
I second Michelle J's review. This is an excellent read-aloud for your family. Our children ask for it again and again.
Ages 4^-8. Using portions of his best-selling adult work Book of Virtues, former secretary of education William Bennett teams up with artist Michael Hague to create a collection of stories, poems, and fables in a format more suitable for children. Noting in his introduction that his goal is to further the "moral education of the young," Bennett has chosen selections to illustrate 10 virtues, which he further divides into four groups, among them, courage/perseverance and compassion/faith. Many selections, such as the Aesop fables, are easily found elsewhere, but Bennett has also included some full-length versions of poems and tales known only vaguely today. A few selections seem badly dated or unbearably heavy-handed (for example, the story of the boy whose "please" didn't get enough fresh air so it ran away to another boy's mouth), and the apocryphal tale of George Washington and the cherry tree should have been labeled as such. Hague's plentiful artwork adds enormously to the charm of the collection. In keeping with each selection, his style ranges widely, from the comical to the lushly romantic and sweetly old-fashioned. Susan Dove Lempke
The book hearkens back to good old-fashioned values and morals, and is completely unashamed in doing so. Mr. Bennett writes in the foreword that the process of intentionally instructing the young in virtues was done without embarrassment in our recent past. I enjoyed the frankness of the approach in this book. Each selection is headed by a summary of the lesson contained in it. The illustrations are colorful and well done.
This collection includes poems, fables from Aesop, adaptations of fairy tales, and other stories from cultures around the world in order to illustrate certain virtues, such as responsibility, courage, perseverance, loyalty, kindness, honesty, and good manners. The selections are of a good length to sustain the interest of a young(4 - 8 yo) child. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to inculcate good values.
Only this week, while driving, I had to remind my grandchildren that the word "please" appeared to absent from their vocabulary. Instead I heard much demanding ...sigh
Though we are familiar with most of the stories told my kids and I enjoyed the wonderful illustrations and quality of this book.