Reading with children

a blog by Magic Tales

child reading

The Impact of Animals and Emotional Intelligence in Children’s Books

The Power of Storytelling
Storytelling proves to be an extremely powerful method to introduce concepts and ideas to children. One potent facet of this understanding is the exploration of animals and emotional intelligence in children’s books. By featuring animals as central characters who express emotions and navigate interpersonal relationships, authors help children recognize, understand, and manage their own emotions and the emotions of others.

Animals in Children’s Literature
Animals hold a prime position in children's literature for several reasons. Firstly, they are interesting, approachable, and engaging. They capture children’s attention and make the story fun, allowing the underlying message to be absorbed easily. Secondly, animals often make the story seem safer, more comfortable for children.

Moreover, featuring animals helps to separate the traits the author wants to impart from any gender, race, or social status associated with human characters. It blurs prejudices and stereotypes thus focusing solely on the traits being taught.

Teaching Emotional Intelligence
It's no secret that emotional intelligence is as necessary for a successful and happy life as cognitive intelligence. Emotional intelligence entails recognizing, understanding, and properly expressing one's own emotions and empathizing with the emotions of others.

Children’s books that deal with feelings and emotions, mirrored in the behavior of animal characters, can inspire empathy and understanding in young readers. For instance, consider the case of a book portraying a rabbit who feels left out among his forest friends. When children read about this, they naturally empathize with the rabbit's feelings.

Example Books
A sterling example of this approach is seen in the famous 'Winnie the Pooh' books, where each character represents a different emotional perspective. Eeyore frequently feels depressed and detached, Piglet often feels frightened but very caring, and Tigger is impulsive and excitable. These characters, with their distinctly different emotions, help children understand the broad spectrum of feelings that can be experienced.

Another powerful example is the 'Rainbow Fish' series, where the beautiful but lonely Rainbow Fish must learn to share his pride possession—his shiny scales—to make friends and feel truly happy. This book subtly introduces the concepts of generosity, sharing, and joy in friendship.

Final Thoughts
In conclusion, using animals as primary characters in children's literature is an effective way to teach children about emotional intelligence. It makes the understanding of complex emotions more accessible and relatable. As parents and educators, recognizing this potency helps us choose books that will contribute to the holistic development of our children.

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