In these short stories, the characters learn lessons about living a virtuous life. Each story is followed by an explanation of the “morale” [sic] of the story and discussion prompts. In the author’s note at the beginning of the book, he writes that they are designed as teaching tools for children. “I encourage everyone to read this book and discuss with children about their analysis of the subject and the impression they derived from it.”
“Destiny’s Evolution” provides an example of his approach. In the story, a poor “axe man” helps an elderly woman and, thanks to the intervention of God and his conversation with the goddess of wealth, is rewarded with a diamond. When that is lost, he is rewarded with another gift, and then another. Each time, bad luck costs him the reward, but in the end all is returned and his wealth benefits everyone. At the story’s conclusion, the author offers a discussion question, a “Lesson Learned” and a “Morale [sic] of the story” (in this case, “God helps those who help themselves”).
The author has put thought into these tales, but English appears to be a second language and, as such, the stories are riddled with misspellings and grammatical errors, such as this passage in “Positive Approach”: “Once in a while he would go to nation’s capital for checking on administration activities of the hospital and nursing homes.”
While the author’s intent is commendable, these tales are too simple and happenstance to add up to engaging stories. The plots are forced, the endings predictable in that good will always prevail, and the subject matter occasionally seems better suited to adults than children, confusing the issue of the book’s target audience.
Set in foreign cultures and simpler times, the stories could be made more enjoyable with a better understanding of the language and more attention to storytelling technique.
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