It’s been awhile since I wrote about a book, not for lack of books in our world but for overwhelming abundance. The collecting, reading and sharing of books is as essential to life in our house as breathing most days, and sharing all the ones we love would be a full time job! Sometimes a book comes along, however, that is so important and good and valuable that it must be shared and celebrated. I found this amazing gem during a visit to Citylights bookstore in San Francisco.
“How to Behave and Why” was written by Munro Leaf (most famous for writing “The Story of Ferdinand” – the mild-mannered bull) and published in 1946.
It’s a deceptively simple looking “children’s book” with a universal message…
Focusing on four essential character traits it explains what the values mean and why they are important in a simple but not pedantic way, so that they are accessible to the very young, the very old and all other ages in between.
I love that the writing manages to be idealistic and realistic at the same time. If I could buy this book for every child or teacher I know, I would!
We are living in strange and unsettling times, but it is reassuring to know that there are still many good people living fair, honest and kind lives. We need to remind ourselves and each other that these qualities are timeless, and that they can be universal if we keep recognizing their value in ourselves and others.
A note from the editor of the newly published re-issue:
I hope you read and share it – and tell me what you think! Have you come across any gems at the bookstore lately?