Genre: Children’s book
Content Warnings: None
A free copy of this publication was sent to me in exchange for an honest review.
The “Golden Rule” is for everyone. When a young girl starts to learn about the different ways to say it, she finds that every culture and faith has their own way to express the “Golden Rule.” Celebrate a love of diversity and acceptance in this beautifully illustrated tale.
I will preface this review by stating that I do not have children of my own. I do however, have a young niece, and when it comes to gift-giving I prefer to focus on building her a library full of diverse and empowering stories. While the storytelling in Jessica Marie Baumgartner’s The Golden Rule felt a bit contrived and disjointed to me, there’s no denying that the overall message of one belief shared by many faiths (the idea what we should treat others the way we’d like to be treated) is important for everyone, especially young minds.
What works well:
The “golden rule” is an important lesson that most children are taught quite young. Using it as the means of showing kids that, regardless of faith, we all share a pretty core conviction is a smart way to show children that, no matter how different we may seem, most people generally have something pretty important in common. This book is also a great introduction to different systems of faith (the narrator’s family is Pagan) and kinds of families. Laura Winship-Fanaei’s art was also lovely and really fit the theme.
What doesn’t work well:
As I was going through this book I imagined myself reading it out loud to my niece once she gets a little older. As important as the message is, the story didn’t feel especially engaging. Instead, the narrative came across as a bit forced with more focus on teaching than telling a story. Don’t get me wrong: I think the content is incredibly valuable, but I can’t help but feel as though this story would have a hard time keeping the attention of a young child. As such, it might be better suited for a young reader who is on the cusp of graduating to chapter books than as bedtime or story circle reading.