Children’s stories are one of the most important tools for the learning and development of a child’s imagination. They take children to a world where fantasy and reality go hand in hand to tell stories full of values like friendship, solidarity, respect, tolerance, honesty, etc. We have an amazing diversity of books that not only tell beautiful stories but also allow our children to learn and embrace these important values in a fun and enriching way.
In our blog, we are inaugurating a new section in which we share our favorite books with simple morals for children. And what better date to do it than April 23rd, World Book Day. We’ll tell you an interesting fact: the date for World Book Day wasn’t chosen at random, rather it was decided to illuminate an important day in the history of literature. Manuel Mejía Vallejo, Maurice Druon and Halldór Laxness were all born on April 23rd. What’s more, Miguel de Cervantes, William Shakespeare, Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, William Wordsworth and Josep Pla all died on April 23rd.
We hope that you enjoy reading our stories, and that you have a happy Book Day!
Today we will start with Guapa, one of our favorite tales.
The Witch is very happy because she is going to have a date with the Ogre. She finds herself to be very beautiful, but others don’t think the same, and they advise her to change her physical appearance again and again until she doesn’t even recognize herself. Will the Ogre like the Witch, different from the one with who he fell in love? Will the Witch decide to adapt her physical appearance to what other people like, or will she prefer to be herself?
The story that Guapa tells is about self-esteem and the concept of beauty put in place by society. In this reading, the Witch and the Ogre are the main characters, and the squirrel, the rabbit, the fox, and the mouse appear as secondary characters. The Witch feels beautiful, but she allows herself to be swayed by others’ opinions and others’ concepts of beauty, to the point that she no longer recognize nor likes herself. The Ogre also feels cheated by the new version of the Witch, who is not the person with who he fell in love.
Guapa makes clear the importance of being and accepting who you are above the opinions of others and above the need to please everyone else. We can listen to others’ advice, but we must prioritize our own values. We know that in today’s society, the canon of beauty sets the trends, and everything outside of the “socially acceptable” is seen as “strange or ugly.” Not only in terms of beauty- we are also told how to be and how to act in order to please other people. I think it is important to show our children how to be themselves, and reinforce their self-esteem by validating who they are without trying to be anyone else. It is also fundamental to show them how to accept and respect diversity as a middle ground, and for their own emotional development.
It’s been a true pleasure to read this fun and instructive story. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
Number of pages: 32
Editorial: Apila Asociación Cultural
Appropriate for ages: 0-4 years