Friday, February 23, 2007

Book Review Contest: The ValueTale Series

Title: The ValueTale Series
Authors: Spencer and Anne Donegan Johnson
Illustrator: Steve Pileggi
Reviewer: Carol

One of my favorites was the ValueTale series. They are out of print now, but when I was a kid, we had the entire set. There were about 40 or so books and I read each and every one of them. Each book was a biography of a historical figure who embodied a particular value, such as courage, kindness, determination. Some that I remember the best are: The Value of Believing in Yourself: The Story of Louis Pasteur, The Value of Determination: The Story of Helen Keller, The Value of Giving: The Story of Beethoven, and The Value of Caring: The Story of Eleanor Roosevelt. I read these over, over and over again.

I think what appealed to me (besides the illustrations and the not very historically accurate anthropomorphic sidekicks) was that I could as a child relate to these individuals as people, not just get rote awareness of their historical accomplishments. And I still enjoy biographies (although these days, it's more television-based) as a way of learning and understanding history. To this day, I credit the series for my first exposure to a number of scientists, philosophers, artists, athletes, activists, humanitarians, politicians and many other backgrounds. Some of these were people of color, or from different countries/cultures, some were women - so it was also an early introduction to recognizing that everyone can contribute, do great things, overcome obstacles, help others, be good people.

Your chance to enter our Blogaversary Children's Book Review Contest and win some great new books from Kane/Miller Book Publishers ends tonight. Click here for details and send your submissions to

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