First Virtues: 12 Stories for Toddlers by Dr. Mary Manz Simon #BookReview

Most children like to follow by example, so it's really important to exemplify positive behavior. Little ones will typically mimic what we do, or simply just observe the actions of others. First Virtues is a sweet book for toddlers that highlights twelve different positive traits through examples portrayed by the many characters throughout.

We all want our little ones to grow strong characters, but how do we teach them? Best-selling children’s author Dr. Mary Manz Simon offers the solution. This collection of twelve stories stars a menagerie of adorable animals and offers simple, concrete examples for little ones to remember.

Dr. Mary Manz Simon is an award-winning author with more than 3 million books sold. A thought leader in the Christian children’s market, she has worked with entertainment entities, periodicals, and major publishers including Walden Media, Sony Home Entertainment, DreamWorks Animation, and American Girl. Dr. Simon has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs in support of her products and as a practical parenting specialist. She and her husband, Hank, a pastor, celebrated their fortieth anniversary in 2014. They are the parents of three and have four grandsons.

First Virtues is a rather thick book with 256 pages, but the rhyming text is short and sweet, so we breezed right through the entire thing in just one sitting. My son really enjoyed listening to me read about each virtue. 

The book is divided into sections based upon the twelve virtues being discussed. These include:
  • Kindness
  • Truthfulness
  • Love
  • Patience
  • Forgiveness
  • Making Friends
  • Thankfulness
  • Obedience
  • Joy
  • Sharing
  • Good Manners
  • Doing Your Best

Also included in this beautiful hardcover are adorable illustrations of animals as they carry out examples of each virtue. Kitty shows kindness to those around her, Piglet makes sure she tells the truth no matter what, Koala tries his best in everything he does, and Puppy learns the importance of making friends. There is even a reference in the back that links each of the twelve virtues to a scripture verse in the Bible.

What I really like about this book is that it doesn't just contain simple stories, but also offers an interactive experience between parents and their children. After each chapter, there is an area called the "Parent Connection," that provides ways for parents to help children understand what they've just read. There are even a few examples of how we can observe our little ones as they demonstrate these virtues. 

For example, the "Parent Connection" under Sharing reminds us to catch our child sharing when he or she:
  • Scoots over to let another child see pictures in a book
  • Takes turns using a single piece of sidewalk chalk
  • Breaks a cookie in half for a friend
  • Donates a toy for a needy family
  • Thanks God for the opportunities to give

If you are looking to get a head start on teaching your toddler/preschooler positive values, then First Virtues is a wonderful book to read to them. It truly is a value resource for both parents and young children. Not only will they enjoy the adorable stories throughout, but the book will help encourage Godly character in their daily lives.