So I’m happy to say that I am finally starting to get better. I hope (fingers crossed). I forgot to mention yesterday that I started seeing a chiropractor. I’ve seen him before he used to be married to my cousin. But long story short, it was recommended that i get in to see him. I went today and they ran tests to check the inflamation in my back and my range of motion. We might have at least part of the solution for my random inexplicable pain. So here’s to hoping that we’ll have it licked in a few weeks.
So I’m continuing with my book trend this week. And we’re moving on to a favorite book series from my childhood. Back in the day Minnie Mouse had a series that was all about being your best friend. The small series that included stories about her and her friends, is only a part of a much bigger series, but I didn’t know that until a few days ago.
We’ll start with the basics of the series, the cover, the artwork, the relevance of the stories, and finally a final review.
The story is told from a third person point of view with occasional asides from Mininie where she points out the character flaws and questionable actions of herself and others. At the end of each story she talks to your child as her friend. She may even ask your child to write to her about a time they did something or were tempted to do something similar to what happened in the story. Or she may ask for your child to share their opinion on the story.
Each story teaches a lesson. Sometimes it is Minnie learning the lesson. Other times it is Daisy, Lily, Penny, or one of her other friends. I think my favorite things about these stories is the fact that it provides a number of opportunities for you to start open dialogs with your children about these issues and how they can come to you if they need help. This is one of the reasons these stories are so near and dear to my heart, because my parents did just that with them.
The stories cover a variety of subjects including theft, peer pressure, growing up too soon, loyalty to your friends, dilemmas young children may face with their friends, and honesty. Each story teaches a different lesson covering just about any aspect of morality and responsibility that we can expect young children between the ages of five and ten to learn.
The covers of the books all follow a theme. Each cover photo and title gives a hint at the problem. They also each have a decorative binding with some sort of shape usually polka dots and hearts. Still this is how you can tell the series apart from that of the larger Minnie and me book series. I believe that there are 20-25 books in the series. While it used to be a subscription they are now easily obtained on amazon for anywhere between $0.01 and $3.50 with shipping and handling. I went and looked it up just to make sure that anyone interested could find the series.
The artwork is clean and easy to understand. If you wanted to start your child on morals early it’s still a good book for infants. Freya can sit through most of one story and I would say the read time is somewhere between ten and twenty minutes per book. The shapes are mostly simple and would also serve the opportunity to point out new words to your growing young one even if the moral lessons may be a bit too young for them yet.
The relevance of the stories. Most books with popular characters may have a moral, but it’s buried within a larger story. That’s all well and good, but the aim of these books were to specifically use a girl’s childhood cartoon icon to teach morality or right and wrong. While there is a story, it’s much more poignant that there is a lesson within the Minnie and me. It’s also set up to open dialogue between a parent and child about some of these issues, unlike many children’s books containing morals. This can make it easier for a parent who is unsure of how to broach a topic to talk to their child.
Let me give you an example. I will always remember reading one book in the series. It was the one where the girls were being bullied. I remember my parents reading that book when they were concerned that I was being bullied and using it as an icebreaker. Granted, they found out that the school had been lying to them for three years by that point….but the book was an icebreaker for us. While I know that not every parent needs that, maybe the child does. Some children may need that opening to be able to have that conversation with their parents. Or even if that have that conversation with Minnie (aka you writing them back). I don’t necessarily promote the last approach, but do what works for your family.
I would definitely rate these as one of my favorite sets of children’s books. It is to the point, opens dialogue, is visually engaging and very positive in its approach to teaching the child through a story while still being fairly accurate. I don’t feel like this book series sugar coats the situation quite as much as other stories, which is a definite benefit.
I hope that you will at least check out one of these stories if you are looking for character building books for your wee one.