In my occasional series of highlighting great picture books that are worth “having,” not just reading, here’s another “great kids book”:
As I mentioned in my review of The Temperament God Gave Your Kids, I am a big fan of “numbers” books–the 7 Habits, the 5 Love Languages. There’s something about categorizing personality types, productivity and self-improvement that I find irresistible. It just helps me understand these kind of concepts better, as well as put them into practice.
High on the list of these books is The 7 Habits of Happy Kids by Sean Covey, son of Stephen Covey, who brought the world the many 7 Habits books. My favorite “7 Habits” book for grown-ups, not surprisingly, is The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families, though I have certainly read quite a few of the series at one time or another.
But truly, if you want a great distillation of the “7 Habits,” as well as teaching certain concepts/virtues to yourself or your children in a relatable way, nothing beats The 7 Habits of Happy Kids.
In the book, Sean Covey creates the sylvan community of “7 Oaks” populated with cutesy (but not too cutesy) animal characters like Goob Bear, Jumper Rabbit and Sophie Squirrel. (Stacy Curtis provides the charming illustrations). Each of the 7 Habits is illustrated in a story featuring several of the animal characters. For “Have a Plan” (which corresponds to the Covey habit “Begin with the End in Mind”), Goob Bear plans carefully how he will spend his lemonade-stand earnings, and Jumper Rabbit does not. Jumper blows all his money on junky toys and candy, while Goob buys the bug-collecting kit he previously spotted, as well as some other well-planned treats.
We’ve read The 7 Habits of Happy Kids many times at our house, both as a group and and individually. I put it out from time to time so kids can peruse it again. We always come away with fresh insights. At one time, though my now-aging children deny it, we had a song to go along with the 7 Habits that I found very catchy and endearing. Even if our song didn’t stick, I’m hoping the message of the 7 Habits did.