"The things I want to know are in books. My best friend is the man who'll get me a book I haven't read." ~ Abraham Lincoln
You can look back in your childhood and remember with fondness the books in your early life, can’t you? I have such happy memories connected to my childhood books, our local library, reading in my favorite chair beside the radiator in the wintertime, and the knowledge that “Santa” was going to bring me more books! I especially liked inspirational stories
My books helped me to learn about the world, to create the values that I still have in my life, and inspired me through stories about other children of the virtues that needed to be brought up in my own life like courage, honesty, persistence, and hard work. And I know you’ll remember that at first, there were only pictures and weren’t you proud to be able to actually read the words only your parents seemed to know?
Traditional Short Stories for Children
Grimm's Fairy Tales – This is a collection written by the Brothers Grimm in Germany around 1812 and although their messages were more adult-like than children oriented, this collection of over 150 stories that are still popular today. You’ll recognize Snow White, Hansel and Gretel, Rapunzel, Cinderella, The Elves and the Shoemaker, and Rumpelstiltskin to recall but a few. Here’s a site where you can download them for your children: http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~spok/grimmtmp/
Aesop's Fables – Dating back to the 520 AD, this list of over 655 stories are well know for the morality they portray in an easy-to-understand format. They help children to become aware about standard human values, and they contain ageless wisdom. Do you remember The Goose that Laid the Golden Egg, The Boy Who Cried Wolf, The Ant and the Grasshopper, and Town Mouse and Country Mouse? Here is a place to access them online: http://www.umass.edu/aesop/fables.php
Hans Christian Anderson’s Stories – Written by a Danish story teller, Anderson’s stories once entertained Danish royalty and are perpetuated in the movies today. Containing morality lessons like the other traditional stories, you’ll remember Thumbelina, The Ugly Duckling, and The Emperor’s New Clothes and The Steadfast Tin Soldier. You can find them here: http://hca.gilead.org.il/
How Your Kids Might Gain from Hearing Inspirational Stories
You could sit and lecture to your kids about values or morals, but stories help you get the idea across so much more easily. It allows them to strengthen their own imaginations. Kids develop heroes in these stories and they work to emulate them in their own actions. One of the biggest helps for a child who is read inspirational stories is that they grow to love books and reading and this helps them learn throughout their studies and their lives.
I no longer have an occasion to read these types of stories for children, so I’m not up to date on what has been created since I visited this topic for my own son. Amazon.com can help you find the latest and greatest, as well as your own local bookstores. And many libraries still have story-telling hour for children. Your kids might truly enjoy that!