Monday, January 3, 2011

A Cookie Lesson

As I was just browsing through some books in the library, I came across a book that had an attractive cover picture - a girl holding a tray full of cookies. The book was “Cookies - Bite size life lessons” by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and illustrated by Jane Dyer. This book is reminiscent of the Moral Science lessons we were subject to in school. If you’ve studied in an Indian Convent institution, you’ll know what I’m talking about!!:-) In retrospect, I feel that the lessons though well intended seemed a little far from practicality. This book however is a value lesson with a twist! It seeks to impart positive virtues like patience, generosity, compassion, co-operation with cookie-centric definitions. For people unaware, cookie-making is a popular activity that most kids enjoy, particularly in the US. Who would’ve thought life’s lessons could be taught while making cookies!!

Through this book, I was able to talk to Abhay about certain values and principles that we all hope to inculcate in our children. The book sets out lofty ideals in a way that children can easily comprehend without sounding like a sermon and at the same without trivializing its value. We all know “Patience is a virtue” …..But to get that idea across to a four year old can be a challenge. Show him the picture of a little girl waiting patiently for the cookies to be baked, it does strike a chord! “One Smart cookie – Bite size lessons for the School years and Beyond” is another book in the same series that takes the same idea a little further meant for your little one’s first big adventure – School!

Though a unique “Etiquette Guide” for kids, I must admit that some of the definitions are a little too advanced and Abhay and I weren’t on the same page at times......even literally!!! :-) In fact, on the definition of “Honesty”, attempting to explain its meaning in Kannada, I said we have to always speak satya (which I assumed was better way of explaining) .......and my darling son, pointing to the picture of a man on the page, asks “ Amma, is this Satya uncle?” ….........."Patience is a virtue” …...I thought!!

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