5 Big-Hearted Treasuries

Why treasuries, you might be asking. I find collected stories or poems to be incredibly handy. I keep one in the car for road trips or the unexpected traffic jam, relying on my second grader to entertain the crew. I toss one in the diaper bag, regaling my weary little people in waiting rooms all over the city. When we're traveling, it is so nice to pack one book without sentencing myself to retelling the same story every night.

Clearly, I rely on them. It's a desperate attempt to keep the kids from noticing the DVD player in our new(ish) vehicle.

Brace yourself for this bit of news: I'm not even going to include Buddha at Bedtime. I've posted and linked to it enough times now you're sure to have stumbled upon it. It remains a favorite in our home, but I've decided to make room on this top five list for some collections you may not have run into just yet.

These stories are all so different from one another, a common set of discussion questions doesn't seem feasible. Certainly feel free to use the comments section here to  share the reflections you've shared with your children.

Children's Book of Virtues by William J. Bennett.

Clearly, this is a classic. You may have read it as a child. Former secretary of education William Bennett shares stories, fables, and poem conveying virtues we all hope to share, including courage, compassion, and loyalty among many others. Some of the stories are very familiar (Aesop's fables) others are quirky and new, at least to me. One or two I may have excluded, but on the whole, this is a wonderful book to read and discuss together.


I can make a difference: a treasury to inspire our childrenby Margaret Wright Edelman.

This collection is exceptional. I posted about it long ago, and it is still one of my go-to books. Again, I love the combination of stories, poetry, and art.

The works in this treasury do not simply teach and inspire. They are literary jewels, beautiful in and of themselves, and I am always delighted to sit down with my children to savor words so perfectly crafted.


James Herriot's Treasury of Inspirational Stories for Children by, obviously, James Herriot.

The author of All Creatures Great and Small brings us eight heart-warming, occasionally heart-breaking tales. My little animal lovers went nuts for these stories, and though we had to return it to the library all-to-soon, it just might show up under the Christmas tree.

While morals and virtues are not so heavily emphasized in this collection,  the stories easily lend themselves to big-hearted discussions.

Kids Random Acts of Kindness by Conari Press.

This collection is sure to inspire your family's next kindness activity. Nothing motivates kids - or adults - like a good example, which is exactly what these stories provide. While they may not be classic children's literature, they will certainly spark the spirit of giving.




Tales of Wisdom and Wonder (with CD) by Hugh Lupton.

The musical CD included with this collection makes it ideal for road trips or traffic jams.

And I promise, it will captivate your audience. This book features seven stories from a variety of cultures. They are expertly crafted, perfect for reading aloud repeatedly to young children. And, as the title declares, there is a bit of wisdom in each tale to get a conversation started.