Though I’ve spent most of my adult life living in the hustle, bustle, and congestion of the San Francisco Bay (and now the crazed city of Chicago), many people are unaware that most of my childhood was situated in a small town where commute traffic is non-existent, the top steak restaurant in town is the Sizzler, and the closest neighbors are Douglas Fir trees, bass fish, and Dungeness crabs.
Despite the fact that my small hometown probably holds the record for top Walmart memes, frankly, I still miss it.
So, imagine my surprise when I discovered this awesome children’s book set, Cedar City Critters, that was set not only in a beautiful naturalistic environment mimicking my hometown, the books also promote moral values and social skills. Yasssss!
The four short stories follow a group of fish and wildlife friends, the Cedar City Critters, on their adventures as they navigate streams, lakes, and countrysides dodging hunters and fishermen. As the fish, ducks, turkeys, and bucks go about their daily lives they are faced with dilemmas and how to overcome and learn from them.
The Cedar City Critters book series includes:
Words That Fly – Learning about the harm of hurtful words and how to use your words wisely
Little Blessings – Discovering your purpose and sharing your blessings with others
Follow Directions – The importance of listening and following directions
Humble Pie – The importance of being humble and honoring your neighbors
I received these books for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be a good fit for my readers and their families.
Although each book offers an inspiring message, I definitely had my favorite.
My favorite story in the series is Humble Pie, a story about Boone, a buck who wants to show off his new antlers and be popular. His raccoon friend, Kit is concerned that he might attract the wrong attention, such as a hunter, and voices his concern to his friend. Boone the Buck doesn’t understand and thinks his friend is just jealous and “doesn’t understand about popularity.”
Upset with his friend Kit, Boone darts off angrily to the woods to be alone. Soon, he meets another buck. His new buck friend, Crockett, explains how he went through the same thing when he first got his new antlers. He tells Boone how he had developed an attitude and shown off so much that he attracted the attention of a hunter to the woods and put his family and friends in danger.
Crockett shares some words of wisdom with Boone and tells him to “slide your pride to the side and eat some humble pie.”
After hearing Crockett’s story, Boone thinks twice of how he treated his friend Kit the raccoon. He realizes he needs to return home to apologize to his friend. Boone returns home and brings along his new friend, Crockett, to introduce to Kit and to share what he learned.
“…Points on my antlers will come and go, but friends can last a lifetime.”
The moral of the story was the importance of being humble and how to overcome prideful behavior.
I didn’t like the book just because it was centered on a big 3-point buck or that I reign from a family full of country lovin’ folk. This book hit home because my stepson, Chris, is currently battling the popularity contest himself. Humble Pie addresses the proper response to these type of situations and how to help young readers to easily understand what’s right from wrong. I also like that the books are set in the great outdoors with vibrantly-colored illustrations that nearly jump off the page.
While Chris may be a tad older than the book’s target demographic (ages 4-8), it’s never too early to start reading books to your young children that help build intellectual and moral character.
The earlier you start teaching young children morals the better. Yes, even your toddler.
According to Lawrence Kohlberg, an American psychologist, and educator who was known for his theory of moral development, “children need to learn the difference between right or wrong and understand how to make the right choices. Children’s experiences at home, the environment around them, and their physical, cognitive, emotional, and social skills influence their developing sense of right vs. wrong.”
Kohlberg also stated between the ages of 2 and 5, many children start to show morally-based behaviors and beliefs.
If we plant these seeds now, they’ll grow up to be valuable contributing members of society.
The Cedar City Critters book series gives kids the opportunity to learn how to be kind and humble. From stories that teach about the importance of listening or about sharing your blessings with others, I know that these books will soon become some of your new favorite books to read again and again with your kiddos.