"I cannot sleep unless I am surrounded by books."


Friday, May 11, 2007

The Golden Rule

The Golden Rule
Author: Ilene Cooper
Illustrator: Gabi Swiatkowska
Publisher: Abrams Books for Young Readers
ISBN-10: 081090960X
ISBN-13: 978-0810909601

Recommended for Kindergarten-Grade 5.

This gentle little story is about a little boy who asks his grandfather what it is the Golden Rule. His grandfather’s explanation as well as the boy’s deeper questions make up the book. I loved that the grandfather’s explanation was so simple, yet detailed. He tells the boy that the Golden Rule is mentioned in many religions and cultures, from Christianity to Hinduism to the Shawnee tribe, have their own variations and proceeds to cite where that rule can be found.

The nameless boy questions is grandfather more, wondering what the world would be like if everyone, even whole countries practiced the Golden Rule and that got me thinking. What if? Wouldn’t it be wonderful? The grandfather’s answer “It starts with you” got me thinking even more. I think I’ll be a lot more careful after reading this book.

The beautiful paintings of the boy and his grandfather with their solemn faces that gaze at you are reminiscent of those old icons in churches. The boy looks positively angelic. The pages have a golden tinge and everything is simply stunning. The Golden Rule is a beautiful way to help parents teach a very important lesson and be reminded of it themselves. The fact that the book is deliberately non-denominational makes it all the more compelling.

Book Description from the publisher:

This book is a gentle reminder of a timeless rule for parent and child: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.Everyone knows a version of the Golden Rule. But what does it really mean? And how do you follow it? In this gorgeously illustrated book, a grandfather explains to his grandson that the Golden Rule means you “treat people the way you would like to be treated. It’s golden because it’s so valuable, and a way of living your life that’s so simple, it shines.” And though it may be a simple rule, it isn’t easy to follow. Fortunately, following the Golden Rule is something everyone can do, which means that every person—old or young, rich or poor—can be a part of making the world a better place.