Growing up, I remember reading books and listening to tapes of several children’s book series that taught specific values: Standin’ Tall, the Safety Kids, and The Power Tales. Each of the series contained a set of activity or picture books with a cassette tape accompanying each book. My siblings and I loved to hear and read the stories, and we remember some of the lessons and songs to this day.Standin’ tall was a series of twelve books, each titled a specific value such as work, cleanliness, gratitude, obedience, etc. Each tape told a dramatized story with catchy songs, and each book contained attractive illustrations to color, the words to the story, and other activities. Just the other day, I sang to my son some of the songs from the “Cleanliness” book while giving him his bath.
The Safety Kids was probably our favorite series. It was two cassette tapes with companion books that taught social safety rules such as not going with strangers, memorizing your phone number, or who to talk to if you are lost. We loved to listen to them, and the children enacting the drama on the tape felt like friends who were coming to play whenever we put on the tapes. We danced to the music and learned the concepts being taught. I still remember my phone number from that period of time in my life because one of the songs teaches a child to memorize his phone number.The power tales was a series of books that taught values through stories of historical figures like George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and even Walt Disney. The stories were entitled “The Power of Courage – Featuring the story of Florence Nightingale”. Each book had a tape to go with it with the dramatized story and other lessons to go with the value.
I know the books and tapes we read and listened to had an impact on me because I still remember the songs well and have the desire for my children to learn those same values. As children, we learned without feeling like we were learning. We were having fun singing and dancing while internalizing important values and helped shape the people we became.