The stories usually portray characters facing challenges. One friendly bear wants to learn how to read. A brave sailor leads the way to a magical island. A smart little boy tries to build a flying machine. They each succeed by perseverance, openness and ingenuity. They achieve great things by doing simple, good deeds.
An important aspect of the book is that there are no situations where a character has to do wrong in order to gain something. Even when battles take place, as they sometimes do on pirate ships, they have no detail of violent gestures or actions.
This is a point that has been attentively pursued throughout the book. There are many classical children's stories that involve a great deal of violence. Hansel and Gretel's own parents leave them in a forest to die, the huntsman in Snow White kills the wolf, Cinderella's sisters are filled with envy.
The Wonderful Roundabout was written with the belief that stories can set the foundations for the moral character of children and, therefore, should, in all ways, inspire kids to become caring, generous and motivated individuals. Which is why references to violence or mischief are removed. The obstacles our characters face are more those that appear when one tries to follow a dream that is not readily accessible - such as reaching a magical castle, transforming a bicycle into a mouse or building a bridge in a beautiful place.
Simply put, if at least one child becomes a better person after hearing one of the stories, then The Wonderful Roundabout would have fulfilled its purpose.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I bought this book for my niece for her 7th birthday and she just loves it! My sister is a very traditional women, stay at home mom and home schools and she just raves about how incredible this book is. Her point of view on the importance the book teaches the goodness in your heart compared to other kids books is what sets it apart. I persoanlly thought the stories were great. I give this a must read and a book for the generations. I think the best part of giving this to my niece is they put her name in it and can hand it down to her kids and so on, that is pretty cool.