A Book with Moral Lessons for Children | Daily News


 

A Book with Moral Lessons for Children

What makes a good children’s book is in itself a good question. It is all the more difficult for an adult of one era to assess the literary tastes of children from another era.
However, some generalisation can be made, based on the findings of child psychologists and authors of children’s books. Children seem to love books that are close to their life experience. They love books that bring meaning to their lives that are effable, psychological and moral in content and expression. Thalatha Wijerathna’s An Adventure of The Little Heroes published by Queen of Sea Publishers contains all these elements. It is readable, not too long, and contains pictures; all of which are loved by children in a book. The book provides opportunities to experience feelings of love, joy, fear, playfulness, curiosity, creativity, and adventure, all of which address the psychological needs of children. Walking on the beach, stepping on seawater, flying kites, riding a boat, exploring an islet and its abandoned house, spotting a man with a sack, and catching a robber are thrilling moments for Wasantha, Samantha, and Ranjith, as well as for the reader.
The book has many moral lessons for children. Sri Lankan morals are deeply embedded in the culture and the religion. In this story, family and extended family values are held in high esteem, as they are in the Sri Lankan setting. Children show affection and respect for parents. Grandfather entertains grandchildren, and the orphaned cousin Suba is not abandoned but looked after as a family member.
Being a science graduate, the author demonstrates the power of observation in her vivid description of persons, places, and events. In her previous book, Little Heroes of Randeniya, she described in detail the Buddhist Sinhalese traditions associated with Vesak (Birth of Buddha) and Avurudu (Sinhala-Tamil New Year) in the up country. In this book, she describes the celebration of Christmas (Birth of Jesus) by Christian Sinhalese in the low country on the coast. Further, the book demonstrates the good relationships that occur among the families of Buddhists and Christians, and even more strongly the friendships that occur among children, who care less for ethnic, religious, class, and caste differences. Being a former teacher, the author was able to vivify the characters and interactions in a teacher’s family as authentically as possible.
I am confident that this story book will leave a lasting impression in every reader, and the children who read it will hold it to their chest and say, “I love this book, and I want to read it again.”
Dr Leonard Pinto
Kellyville, Australia


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