FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is the recommended age group for the Karma Kids?
Numerous studies have shown that the process of reading to a child before he or she can read independently encourages accelerated learning as the child develops. Therefore we highly recommend you read the Karma Kids books to your children from the age of 3 onward. We have done our own trials using these books, and young children were universally fascinated by the vibrant colors. Many parents and carers have remarked that their children have remained focused while being shown these books. In addition, the bond created in being read to is very important in the child's overall development.
What is the purpose of the stories?
The main purpose of each story is to address a specific value, virtue, or social skill (such as courage, sharing, honesty, etc.), and show why it is good. Readers are also presented with the opposite of the good value (fear, greed, dishonesty, etc.) and the consequences that may arise if they follow any of these negative ways. Finally, the characters' relationships and Daily Acts of Kindness (DAKS) create a context in each story of compassion, kindness, and caring for others. We feel that by filling children's minds with examples of good ways to handle difficult circumstances we will encourage children to do the right thing more often. The stories also act as a means of interaction with your child that encourages not only learning but also a deeper bond.
Who is A. Little Bird that tells these stories?
The Little Bird is a sparrow. They are a common bird, and I am a common man and like them. Sparrows can be found all over the earth. I can be found in London. (Though on that point, due to global warming sparrows are nearly wiped out in London. For more information, please see our "What We Do With Your Help" Section sub section "How To Be A Karma Kid – Helping Aniamals). As a child when—on very, very rare occasions!—I had done something naughty and my Nan had caught me, I would ask "How did you know, I did that, Nan?" "A little bird told me," she would say. So in honor of my Nan, who was a great lady, I write under the name of A Little Bird. The Little Bird appears on the first and last page of each story to show that he has witnessed and told us the story. When you see him at any other time in the story, it is because the Karma Kid is either doing a good thing or trying to stop someone from doing a bad thing. You can use this as a parenting aid, to highlight the value (e.g., sharing) and its merits, or to explain why stopping the bad action is important.
"Why always a happy ending? Life isn't like that."
We want to encourage resolving issues through communication, mutual understanding, acceptance, and of course forgiveness. And why not? These books are for children, let's leave the cynicism for the adult world!
Why the Learning Circle and Today's Lesson?
In each village, the Learning Circle represents a place of coming together and learning for the community. I have used poetic license to give each Circle characteristics of the location that the story is set in, using Inca pyramids for Ella, opal stones for Narwee, Stonehenge-like blocks for Simoon, etc. Today's Lesson is intended to clearly explain the value of the story and to cement to value in the reader's mind. Numerous studies prove the necessity of having a review session with a learning period, set at the end of a lesson. This allows the mind to lock information in effectively. We recommend reading the stories regularly to your child for similar reasons.
Do The Karma Kids ever age?
Simply... no. Throughout the coming series, the Karma Kids and the other characters remain the same age.
Why does Metta the elephant have a broken tusk?
Metta and the other animals all have some type of injury inflicted on them by a human. Metta was injured when a hunter tried to steal her tusk, Ziggy the bear in escaping from a trap, etc. Each book contains a removable insert for parents that will highlight the present-day plight of the animal in the story. Take as an example Satya, the tigress in Pacha's story. There were over 250,000 tigers at the turn of last century, now a mere 3,500 remain in the wild, due to habitat encroachment and poaching. We feel that by highlighting the plight of these defenceless animals and supporting organizations that aid them, we can reverse these disturbing trends.
Do the stories always follow the same formula?
Yes; we follow a formula because it has been proven children (of all ages!) learn better this way. You will notice that in the beginning the Karma Kid is always doing something selfless, such as making a gift for a friend. We call this a Premeditated Act of Kindness, and you will see a section on the website that gives examples of how your children can do something of this nature in their world. You will also notice that the animal will always impart the wisdom value to the Karma Kid early in the book, usually through an easy-to-digest story. I call this apromoral, a tale within a tale to allow the child to predigest the moral of the story!
The middle of each story, when the Karma Kids return to their village or friends, shows the opposite of the value of the story and the negative consequences that can arise by following this choice. In the final part, the Karma Kid or the village Elders save the day, and then the Elders will gather the children into the Learning Circle, where the experiences of the day are clearly explained in Today's Lesson. The Chief Elder (who is female in half of the stories and male in the other half) will reinforce the message that the quality presented in the story is to be valued, and that its opposite is not. We encourage children to do good for the sake of doing the right thing, as we truly believe "it's nice to be nice!"
Iy you have more question about what we do, please feel free to write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org we will do our best to reply to you, thanks!