In a workshop discussing the importance of literacy in a child’s development, Denise von Stockar from the Swiss Institute of Children’s Literature once said, “All literature, and literacy, is born from the human need to tell stories, to tell stories about one self or about others, to tell stories about the world to better understand our existence, the others and the universe we live.” The fables, myths, and novels we read to our children help them grow and develop, but perhaps one of the best resources to expose them to the world are books about charity.
Contrary to what you may think, the concept of philanthropy is something that comes naturally to children because of their inclination to share and be compassionate. Not only will the introduction of charity books provide them a key understanding of global issues and encourage empathy, but children will also discover the importance of literature through the real-life, meaningful content of these titles:
14 Cows for America by Thomas Gonzales
Despite being separated by the boundaries of countries and continents, tragedy in one area has the ability to affect people halfway across the world because we are all global citizens. In this touching story about generosity, a man returns home from medical school in America and shares the catastrophic event of September 11 with his village. Their hearts feel for the Americans, thus they decided to invite a US Ambassador to help the country recover from this great loss, presenting him with 14 cows.
Beatrice’s Goat by Page McBrier
Illiteracy continues to be a major global problem with many children in third world countries, often relying on others to sponsor their education. The struggle is reflected in a beautiful story about a young girl in Africa who can only dream of school uniforms and books because her parents can barely make ends meet for little Beatrice and her five siblings. A stranger one day approaches Beatrice with a goat, and quickly she discovers she can sell the milk to turn her and her family’s life around.
Four Feet, Two Sandals by Karen Lynn Williams
Donating one piece of clothing or a pair of shoes may not mean much for the donor, but to a needy child, it means everything. Humility is a resounding theme is this wonderful book that starts off with a refugee camp in Pakistan receiving clothing donations delivered by relief workers. 10-year-old Lina finds a sandal that’s just her size, only to discover another girl Feroza has tried on the other shoe. Rather than fighting about who gets to keep the sandals, they claim shared custody as they demonstrate the powers of love and friendship in this turbulent world.
We at Red Apple Reading hope you will take the time to talk and read books with children about charity, teaching them the valuable gift of giving at a young age.