Monday, October 6, 2008

Tending the Heart of Virtue

Our book club last read this book, Tending the Heart of Virtue: How Classic Stories Awaken a Child's Moral Imagination, by Vigen Guroian. I HIGHLY recommend it! One of my first thoughts is that I have been lied to for much of my childhood. Stories such as Pinocchio and The Little Mermaid aren't just movies by Disney, but really amazing and redemptive stories that have been altered by the entertainment mogul. I was a reader growing up, but definitely not so much of the classics as Guroian writes about (think Babysitter's Club and Choose Your Own Adventure). We still have a ways to go with the boys. They were almost able to sit through a reading of The Velveteen Rabbit the other night. Guroian uses this story to discuss its themes of love and immortality (the rabbit becomes "real" in the nursery because of the boy's love and then becomes Real, like a real rabbit, by a Greater Love). He contrasts the idea of "teaching" morals to that of allowing the child to discover or realize how morals are essential for building a life of character and value. There does seem to be a fine line between the two sides, especially as we are living and raising our children for Christ. We have much to learn! I am looking forward to the reading and educating of my children, so my own education will have a chance to be redeemed!


Stef said...

Oh, I'll have to grab this book! Sounds very good. If there is one thing we're trying to do with our kids, its to sit with them when they watch TV and really discuss what they're taking in - even comparing it with a Bible story they've heard. Its amazing how many Disney movies have things like selfishness, pride, lying, vanity, etc... so, while we avoid many of them, the ones we let them watch kind of turn into a lesson. :)

Last week we heard Ethan tell a little boy at the park "I like Beauty and the Beast, but I don't like Gaston... because he says "I'm the greatest" and only God is the greatest." :)

Lis said...

I love reading classics with Providence, of course we're not quite ready for a great moral discussion about each book but I'm guessing it's not too far off.

Brittany Martin said...

It's amazing how good stories shape the way kids think, and help them put things together! I'm reading The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe to the kids in preschool. And today we also talked about Proverbs 20:11, "Even a child is known by his doings...etc."

I talked about how you know what other kids have in their heart by how they act. One of my students told me that was like Edmund and how he was afraid of the White Witch. She knew that because he was being a coward he wasn't trusting God in his heart, and he ended up being the traitor. I was really impressed, and she's only 4!