Karuna kitkaruna kit, 2007

Ask some 8 to 10 year-olds what they understand by peace, and the answers you get will make you stop and think. ‘Uhhh…calm, silent…dullish, a bit boring…not war?’

How can we convey ‘abstract’ concepts to children so that they understand and relate to them? The key seems to lie in imaginative writing that can breathe vibrant life to themes and issues that we encounter in everyday situations.

The Karuna kit brings together a unique collection of stories dealing sensitively with enduring values. A total of 16 themes have been identified, and excellent stories by different authors have been compiled to form this kit. The 100 books have been thematically divided into 3 packs:

Pack 1: Care and compassion, Love and friendship, Co-operation and team spirit, Courage and bravery, Peace, Understanding feelings and emotions, Respect for diversity.

Pack 2: Sensitivity to the differently abled, Relationship with the elderly, Dignity of labour, Citizenship, Identity, Caste and community, Gender equity.

Pack 3: Sensitivity to animals, Sensitivity to nature, Sensitivity to the environment.

The books are meant for the age group 6 to 10 years but can be read by older children too. The selected books are from Indian publishers, so the situations and characters are familiar and recognisable.

The books can be stored in a special display in the library and lent out for children to read followed by book talks and discussions. Children could write their own stories on these themes, of real life incidents they have encountered. They could also go through the library collection and add other books they feel are appropriate to the themes.