Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Children's Series, When I Grow Up I Want to Be... Spotlights Being "A Good Person!"

"When I was young, my ambition was to be one of the people who made a difference in this world. My hope is to leave the world a little better for having been there."        --Jim Henson

"Be a rainbow in someone else's cloud."      --Maya Angelou

All of us will remember sometime or something that we were forced to do because our parents made us. They might have added that it was the right thing to do, for instance, like Brendan and Blake's father said when they didn't want to attend the funeral of a local man who had died. We can even understand the boys' feelings--they didn't know the man...and they sure didn't want to attend a funeral--any funeral... One of them even was scared that the man's ghost would be there! But he kept that thought to himself, while fearing the thought of stepping into the building where they were going.

Personally, I think that this particular book, in the series, When I Grow Up I Want to Be, may be one of the most important of the series... Being a good person, no matter what you do, is the basic principle of learning to live with others and to, also, see the effects of our actions... Although the particular situation chosen to help in this teaching book--attending somebody's funeral--may be a little dark to consider giving to your children, when it is age appropriate, I think the process, what happened and the results for the boys will show that this is an excellent way of showing how each of us can affect the lives of others around us... Please note you can see my review of the type of book done for helping to choose a professional this case a Nurse!

When I Grow Up I Want to Be...
A Good Person!

A Series by Wigu Publishing

Thomas Becket was 88 when he died peacefully...His obituary said that he "was known throughout our hometown as a generous and kind man who tried to see good in everyone he met and left everyone who met him better for it. Mr. Becket will be remembered in our hearts as a good man." When you read that, you might think of what I did--I'd never seen an obituary which contained a reference to somebody's character per se. And...would somebody, someday, think to include some similar words in my own obituary?

My mother was the one I would point to who began training her children to be a good person. But it was by example since as a single mother, she was always working. What she did do was make sure we all became involved in church. 

Brendan and Blake were fortunate children. They had parents who started early to make sure their children were being taught the right things to do in various situations. No matter whether the child wants to do what they are being told to do or not!

"Do we have to go? Can't we just stay at home? I'm
tired," said Brendan.
"Me, too," said Blake. "I want to watch TV."
"I'm tired of discussing it with you," said Dad.
"You two are going. That's the end of it."
"But, why do we have to go?" asked Blake.
"Yeah, why?" repeated Brendan.
"Because it's the right thing to do," answered
Dad. "Mr. Becket was a good man who was
kind and generous to everyone in town,
including us. We are going to pay our respects
to his family, to his memory."
"Do we really have to go, Mom? asked Brendan.
"Absolutely," answered Mom. "Listen to your
Dad. And hurry up. I don't want to be late."
There might be ghosts. I don't want to see any
thought Brendan.
"Sometimes in life, we all have to do things
we don't want to do but should do. This is
one of those times," said Dad.
The boys did not give up easily, they kept trying to get out of going with their parents. As soon as they asked one question, they would turn to another. For instance, they didn't want to get dressed up. By that time, their father was getting upset, but he still took the time to explain that they would dress appropriately out of respect. And quickly added that everybody would be dressed up.

Even after getting in the car they continued to be disruptive, until their father threatened to stop the car. I had to laugh because I remember a time when I took my two nephews out somewhere and they wouldn't settle down. I, too, threatened to stop the car... And I did, finally, turning around and saying "Get out." LOL

Testing boundaries is one of the things children will always do...that's why it's so important for parents to, first, set the boundaries, and, then, stand firm on them.

Now to me, one of the teaching lessons to be derived, was the role and attitude and the dialogue of the parents. They were the primary teachers and the book clearly shows that important role.

The service was over and everybody crowded into the social room. It was there that the boys started learning about Mr. Becket's life...and everybody was talking about how good he was...with specific stories. It certainly was a learning experience for the boys...and, I believe, for anybody who reads the book.

One special incident, I thought, was a great addition to the book. The boys had talked to a man sitting on his front porch as they were heading to the church. Mr. Potts had decided not to go--he didn't like funerals. These two boys talked to him about it and later they saw Mr. Potts at the funeral. What impact do you think it made on the boys when they saw that he had changed his mind, because of them?

I most enjoyed the story by a Mr. Patel, who had opened a local store. Mr. Becket had been his first customer, and always came to the store...but he did much more. He recommended the store to everyone and that was how he was able to build his business!

This book has a few beautifully created full-page pictures, but the majority of the 41 pages is narrative and dialogue. There is much covered, yet for the stories told, they were all centered on explaining to the boys why the man who had died was so well respected--namely, he had been a good person...

And that's a very good thing to learn and become, don't you think? I consider this a must-read for children who are old enough to understand...that could be different ages, I think, so do check it out and consider it as a solid teaching book, of a issue that may not be found elsewhere. Teach your children to be good people!


Ten books are now available in this series with more scheduled. Wigu Publishing can be found at and check out the Kids Corner !

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