Today I bring you books on respect because it’s the word of the week in my character development series. Unfamiliar with this series? I’d love for you to read more about it in my Meaningful Mama tour. This year I’m adding literature to the series. Kids internalize books, so reading is another tool to help us develop character in our kids. This week we focus on RESPECT.
The Berenstain Bears Show Some Respect (Berenstain Bears/Living Lights) by Stan Berenstain – We love the Berenstain Bears around here, and this is a book we own. This book series always has a lesson in life and often deals with character development. This story is no different. The main topic of respect in this book is why we respect our elders. We were able to talk to the kids about how we respect our grandparents, moms, dads, teachers and trusted adults because they’ve lived longer and have more life experience.
Respect (Wonder Books: Level 3 Values) by Kathryn Kyle – I found this book at our local library. What I love about books like this is that it lays things out pretty straight forward. Although it isn’t structured like a story, it gives very practical advice about respect. This book addresses the variety of ways we show respect – to others, our world, our things, our parents, our class and our country. It gives a variety of examples of how to show respect in a number of situations.
The First Forest by John Gile – This was an interesting book I found at our library. The author uses a technique similar to an Aesop fable to make his points. He says it better himself in his author’s note that says, “‘The First Forest’ reminds us that greed and selfishness are harmful and that peace and harmony flow from an attitude of grateful appreciation for the gifts we receive and a respect for the need and right of others to share in those gifts also.” This story is an explanation as to why some trees stay green all winter while some lose their leaves. The trees that lose their leaves in the winter are being punished for the way their selfishness in wanting to grow bigger and better than others came at the cost of shoving other trees away and being spiteful. It has beautiful drawings and your mind works to pick out the life lessons from these trees that take on personalities of their own.
Respect Counts (Character Counts) by Marie Bender – This is another book I found at the library that really outlines clearly what respect means in a variety of situations. It talks about how to show respect to family, friends, school, community, ourselves and our elders. I like how it talks about how we show respect to others by listening and trying to understand people, even if their beliefs or opinions differ from our own. We don’t need to agree, but we do need to have the respect to listen and find productive ways of talking about our differences. The one quote that rubbed me weird was, “So not everyone looks, thinks, or feels the same way you do, but that doesn’t mean they are wrong. They are just different.” I agree with that statement to a degree, but in a world with a post-modern outlook where everything is subjective and there is no absolute right and wrong, I have to disagree. The book did go on to say that not everyone has to agree, but I do believe there are absolutes, and I don’t agree with the thought that some people are just wrong. There is no way that everyone’s different opinions can be right because logically, it does not make sense. I absolutely agree that we need to broach these disagreements with complete respect and an overall sense of love. We don’t impose our beliefs on others but rather live out a life of sacrificial service and an outpouring of love as we live for truth.
Respect (21st Century Junior Library: Character Education)
Respect (Values) by Kimberley Jane Pryor – Like some of the other books mentioned, this is an educational book that gives definitions and clarity about respect and what that looks like played out in our world. It gives specifics and definitive answers, which are helpful to kids.
Big Words for Little People by Jamie Lee Curis and Laura Cornell – Although this book isn’t specifically about respect, it is adorable and really does get to the idea of respect as being one of the most important words to learn. In a poetic fashion with colorful pictures, it presents “big words” that kids will learn in this world. Some of these words tie into ways to show respect to others like “privacy,” “cooperate,” “appropriate,” “patience,” “considerate” and accepting others as “different.” There are some other words that don’t tie in so much. It all leads up to the point that there are some shorter words that she loves the best – family, RESPECT and love. So, although this book can tie into any number of my character development lessons, I thought it appropriate to bring it in this week. I think you’ll enjoy this colorful book. It has a cadence, great illustrations and a creative look at vocabulary development.
Jackie’s Bat by Marybeth Lorbiecki – I am going to confess that this book choked me up quite a bit. It was appropriate that I read this book as we have been discussing Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. This is a story about Jackie Robinson. Jackie was the first African-American to play in the Major Leagues. The story was told from the perspective of a a little white boy who was the bat boy for the Dodgers. It takes you through his journey of racism to learning to respect people no matter their skin tone. It gives a brief perspective of what Jackie Robinson’s experience was like as he entered an all white domain. I am in awe of the pioneering men and women who had to be the first to attend a white school, refuse to stand up on a bus and fight for general human rights. Learning to respect people of all walks is an important lesson to teach our kids. Part of me didn’t want to have to teach my children about these issues because they’re color blind as far as people. They have never pointed out differing skin tones or asked questions. I sometimes wonder if we start to create the separation ourselves, but I also know that we learn from the past. If it is not taught, we can easily make the same mistakes. This book is a good way to discuss the importance of respecting people because they were each individually created by God.
Respect and Take Care of Things (Learning to Get Along) – Cheri J. Meiners
Lili’s Reward for Respect – Sabina Oroge
RESPECT SHOW IT AND EARN IT ARGUS by TREND ENTERPRISES INC. –
Children’s Book About Respect: A Kids Picture Book About Respect With Photos and Fun Facts – by Abigail Tyler
What If Everybody Did That? – by Ellen Javernick
Treat Me Right!: Kids Talk About Respect – by Nancy Loewen
Ryan Respects (The Way I Act Books) – by Virginia Kroll
The Scotties Learn about Respect – by Stephanie Robinson
Get Lost, Little Brother – by Carole Adler
I also found another list of respect books at Tidbits for Moms.