In a home that celebrates the culture of life, storytime should also be a time to reflect on the sacredness of every human being’s life and a teaching moment to remind your children that every person matters.
by Laura Kizior and Mary Kizior
Children learn through stories. Stories help bring alive weighty concepts like the sacredness of every human being’s life, why we should respect elderly people, or how each of us is valuable no matter what. In a home that celebrates the culture of life, storytime should also be a time to reflect on the sacredness of every human being’s life and a teaching moment to remind your children that every person matters.
Here are five picture books that touch on a variety of pro-life topics—from the dignity of each human being to the beauty of adoption, to standing up for the weak and vulnerable persons in our society:
1. “You Are Special” by Max Lucado
Children love to be reminded that they are special — and why shouldn’t they? The conversation you have with your children about the sacredness and dignity of every human being’s life starts with reminding them that every person is unique and created in the image and likeness of God.
In “You Are Special” by Max Lucado, Punchinello feels inadequate next to the other Wemmicks. He can’t do all the the wonderful things they can. As a result, the other Wemmicks give him dots instead of gold stars. But when Punchinello meets Eli, the Woodcarver Who created the Wemmicks, he realizes how much Eli cares about him, no matter how many dots he has. A wemmick’s—or a person’s—value does not depend on what other people think about them. You Are Special is a great reminder of how valuable each person is, simply because God loves them.
2. “The Prince Who Was Just Himself” by Silke Schnee
Every child is a blessing and a special gift—even a child who has disabilities. A recently translated book from Germany, “The Prince Who Was Just Himself” touches on several pro-life themes—from the blessing of children to the value of every human being.
In the story, the king and queen long for a third child. When Prince Noah is born with Down syndrome, his family immediately loves him and welcomes him into the family. But not everyone sees Prince Noah’s value and some of the subjects say mean things about him. When the terrible knight Scarface rides into the kingdom, Prince Noah is the only one who can save the day. “The Prince Who Was Just Himself” reminds us how each person has a special mission from God in this world, no matter what his or her abilities.
3. “God Found Us You” by Lisa Tawn Bergman
Adoption can sometimes be a hard concept for children to understand, so picture books are a great way to show children how God has a special plan for all of us, no matter who are parents are. “God Found Us You” focuses on how God not only answers our prayers in special ways but also how He has a hand in everything that happens in our lives. In the story, when a little fox asks his mom about his adoption, the mom explains how she waited patiently as she prayed to God to send her little son quickly. While all the other mothers had their children, she waited and knew that God was sending her someone very special.
Through the sacrament of baptism, all of us are adopted sons and daughters of God, who wants us to be happy. Earthly adoption is God’s way of showing us that we are all pilgrims on a much grander journey. Just as both biological and adoptive parents choose to love their children, God chooses to love us, no matter what our origins or circumstances. With Jesus as our guide, and his mother Mary as our help, we will all find the way to our final home in heaven.
4. “Now One Foot, Now the Other” by Tomie dePaola
Tomie dePaola’s “Now One Foot, Now the Other” describes the unique relationship of a boy, Bobby, and his grandfather, Bob. At first, Bob teaches Bobby about important things in life—how to walk, talk, and build block towers. Bob tells Bobby stories and imparts his wisdom. One day, Bob suffers a stroke and is no longer able to walk, talk, or build towers. Bobby becomes afraid of his grandfather because Bob no longer remembers or recognizes anyone else in the family. Determined to help his grandfather, Bobby reminds Bob of the good times they once had and teaches Bob how to walk, talk, and construct block towers.
In a world where euthanasia threatens the lives of sick and elderly persons, we need to instill our children with a respect for every person—especially those who are weaker than we are. “Now One Foot, Now the Other” reminds us that no matter how much we depend on other people for help in our daily lives, every person’s life is valuable.
5. “Horton Hears a Who” by Dr. Seuss
No pro-life picture book list would be complete without Horton—the lovable elephant who does everything in his power to convince the other animals that there is a city of small people on a spec which he must save from destruction. Because, after all, “a person’s a person, no matter how small.” This book opens the door for great discussions about what makes a person (is it size? Is it age? etc.) and helps kids to understand the importance of standing up for someone, no matter what other people say.
Explore “Horton Hears a Who” with four days of crafts and other activities in the kindergarten through second grade unit study, “Life Is Precious”.
We want to teach our children about the beauty of the family, the miracle of human life, and the uniqueness of every human person. With all of the negative messages inundating our children, it’s no wonder that instilling these ideals can be a challenge without the proper materials. If we want to build a culture of life in our homes, we must give our children books that promote the pro-life message of the sacredness and dignity of all human beings.
Through education and good literature, children learn about why human beings are so special and why we have to work hard to protect our innocent preborn brothers and sisters from abortion.
Do you have picture books that celebrate the culture of life on your shelf? Tell us! Leave a comment below.