What does a story do to us? After all they are just stories aren’t they? But as readers or having read stories we know that it gives one perspective to graciously put on another’s shoes, to empathise and understand. Do you think otherwise? I don’t think we ever can, if we had a childhood we read, with animals as central characters. The animal kingdom in children’s literature is vast and flourishing. From stories as old as Panchatantra and Aesop’s Fables to Peter Rabbit and Squirrel Nutkein by Beatrix Potter to Mickey Mouse, Tom and Jerry and the Lion King they conquer the imagination of the young and old alike.
Beauty in Strangeness
Here, the beauty is bound to lie in the eyes of the beholder. The starry, curious eyed children may question the strangeness, but after falling in love with the beauty of the simple stories and characters. When they see animals talking, it will keep them hooked as they are witnessing an unusual event.
A Kingdom with Endless Possibilities
When you think from an adult world the cunning fox, the clever goat and the talking bird seems impossible. But the lush green meadows and the darker forests or the countryside where these animals live just like us, open endless possibilities to children. The crow which quenches its thirst on its own is motivation in the most simplest and imaginative way which will probably let them better acquainted to the world outside.
When we talk about literature it goes without saying that it disqualifies for boundaries. We come across delightful narratives from different regions and languages that transcend time. Aesop’s Fables, the stories by Beatrix Potter, the native breed of Panchatantra and Jataka Tales are all sure shot winners in this genre which easily impart what we try to instill in the young generation — morals. When we introduce the little ones to literature these are sure to hold a place in our book shelves.
Tradition of Talking Animals
The anthropomorphism in these stories has become a tradition to convey morals to children. It imparts complex emotions and wise conduct through simple stories. The basic thread that runs through all of them may it be Aesop’s Fables or our own Panchatantra is imparting nuggets of wisdom what else other than the story of the hare and the tortoise could better explain about taking it slow without being stressed and believing in one’s self.
What makes these popular kids in the block even now is the ease with which it conveys truth through fiction.