This Amazon #1 Best Seller book in 4 categories (Peer Pressure, Values, Self-Esteem & Self-Respect, and Girls & Women's books) is part of the Cultivating Compassion in Children series. Six-year-old Maggie questions her grandmother whether old things can be beautiful. This is after Maggie sees advertisements to wash the gray out of your hair and creams to wipe away the wrinkles to make you look young and beautiful. They talk about things that are old and beautiful, like the patchwork quilt on her lap. Maggie comes to her own conclusion on beauty and age. The intent of this story is to see beauty from beyond societal norms to what is simply natural in life. It can lead to thoughts and discussion on positive self-esteem. The illustrations in the book are beautiful and culturally diverse. There are questions at the end that the adult can discuss with the child to encourage thinking and increase their understanding. This is a warm and wonderful book for grandparents and elderly friend to read to young children.
Sonja Lange Wendt is an award-winning author of the Cultivating Compassion in Children books series. Her books are intergenerational and address important and sometimes difficult topics with children on inclusion, acceptance, disabilities, bullying and aging. Serina and Seymour Seed kick off and end each story. Seymour and Serina are the seeds of compassion children have, but sometimes they need planting and nurturing to cultivate the best in them. Through increasing awareness, understanding and discussion, these books teach that using compassion in different situations shows kindness in the greatest way in this sometimes difficult to navigate world.
Sonja uses a variety of setting and characters from grandparents, little girl, little boy, and bugs to engage children in the stories. The settings all include nature and the outdoors. Each story ends with thought provoking questions to be asked by the adult and discussed with the child.
These books are generally fitting for children ages 4-8 but as C.S. Lewis states, “A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.” Her books are brilliantly illustrated with vivid colors and scenery.
We are constantly getting blasted with ways to look better. There are blemish treatments, hair coloring kits, wrinkle creams, acne medicine, diet plans, exercise programs, clothes, shoes, hats, and the list goes on and on. Do you ever question, no matter what age you are, “am I enough?”
We typically think of the preteen years as being especially difficult, transitioning from a cute little kid to an independent teenager. Do these feelings of not looking or being enough, ever go away?
As we get older, we do hopefully get wiser even though our bodies start wearing down and it’s even more difficult to “look good.” The impact of self-image doesn’t go away. How we perceive and address it is what’s important.
Have you noticed how little kids are brutally honest. They will gently run their little fingers down grandma’s face and innocently state, “your skin is wrinkly grandma”. It is wrinkly. They are just stating what they see. It’s not a judgment call unless we make it that way.
This book addresses the doubts posed by society. They talk about beautiful things, old things, and old and beautiful things such as castles and majestic mountains.
Mother’s Day is coming up. Why not get this book for mom or grandma. It’s a great book to read, share and discuss with an adult. The pictures in this book are beautiful and the message is even more precious.
Can Old Be Beautiful? (Cultivating Compassion in Children)