There is yet no better medium than books to teach good morals and inculcate the right values in children. Little children love fairy tales and in their dreams they meet the characters they adore. They develop a strong bond with them and see them as role models. Their imagination is stirred when parents read fables and fairy tales at bedtime and they learn to emulate the ideal character portrayed by their favorite heroes’ in day-to-day life.
Home and school libraries stock storybooks for children that have stories of adventurers, pirates, explorers and various other interesting topics and subjects. Boys find these stories very fascinating. Girls are more interested in stories that have dolls, ponies, flowers, or are about training as teachers/nurses, cooking food and bringing up a family etc. Each group finds interest in stories that involve characters of the same gender. Stories written for kids usually had either male or female characters specific to each story.
However, stories now combine leading characters of both sexes. A good example of this can be seen in the Harry Potter series that have the stories knitted around the trio of Harry, Ron and Hermione. This recent trend in story writing is leading to a gradual change in the preference of both boys and girls who can now be observed being commonly interested in stories revolving around certain theme centric characters involving both genders.
Stories in the past depicted a safe and pleasant world in which little children could venture out in safety. Modern day stories put even girl characters like Hermione in dangerous situations. However, the charm of stories for little children are still retained making them thoroughly enjoyable and captivating, taking children on a journey into the realm of fairies, gnomes, witches, giants, speaking animals and cities having houses made of sweets, chocolates and cakes.
Illustrated books have their own charm and are loved by children. They help children to create a visual image of their favorite character(s) in their minds. The pictures of different animals and places like gardens and forests etc. keep them happy and occupied and provide them with knowledge about many things and places, which they may not have seen. For their young minds, books are like wells from which they constantly draw the water of knowledge.
Books are good friends to children and provide them with company at any time of the day or night. In comparison to movies, books provide a more powerful medium to teach strong values like comradeship, courage and loyalty to children. As a child gets engrossed in reading, he finds himself transported to the imaginary locale of the story with the characters moving around him. By bonding to the characters, children learn to respond to real life situations when they undergo similar experiences. They learn to express their desires, fears and aspirations. Good books cater to healthy mental and psychological development of children.
By Victor Epand
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