There are not many books designed to teach children in the early grades an appreciation for the principles on which our nation was founded. So on this Memorial Day, let's talk about a book called Founders' Fables: Ten Tales for Future Patriots. It was written by an elementary school teacher named Laurie Cockerell, who cleverly used her knowledge of what kinds of characters and language appeal to young children.
The book is a collection of ten fables that introduce kids to the values of America's Founding Fathers in an age-appropriate way. Each story is introduced with a quote from a Founding Father. Then the fun begins with rhyming stories and humorous illustrations to amuse young readers, such as whimsical fables about ducks and beavers and monkeys. With these and other stories, Laurie Cockerell illustrates conservative American values that are often assumed to be too complicated for children, such as the national debt, eminent domain, self-reliance, government intervention, and free speech. Each fable is followed by a suggested art project and two sets of questions, one for younger children and another for older kids. The questions and activities offer opportunities for deeper learning and conversations between children and parents or grandparents. The illustrations and rhymes of the fables are especially suited to 5- to 12-year-olds, but some of the questions will definitely interest older children.
You can download a sample chapter for free at www.foundersfables.com. The website also offers a list of a dozen family activities that encourage learning more about the Founding Fathers. The name of this useful book for little kids is "Founders' Fables" by Laurie Cockerell.
Listen to the radio commentary here: