The Wonderful Roundabout by Mandy Olina
The Wonderful Roundabout is a collection of illustrated short stories for children, meant to inspire little ones to be kind, brave and curious. Each story is split into parts of approximately 500 words, so they can be easily read at bedtime. They are suitable for children over 5 years of age as the narratives may be too complex for those younger.
The stories usually portray characters facing challenges. One friendly bear wants to learn how to read. A brave sailor leads the way to a magical island. A smart little boy tries to build a flying machine. They each succeed by perseverance, openness and ingenuity. They achieve great things by doing simple, good deeds.
An important aspect of the book is that there are no situations where a character has to do wrong in order to gain something. Even when battles take place, as they sometimes do on pirate ships, they have no detail of violent gestures or actions.
The Wonderful Roundabout was written with the belief that stories can set the foundations for the moral character of children and, therefore, should, in all ways, inspire kids to become caring, generous and motivated individuals. Which is why references to violence or mischief are removed. The obstacles our characters face are more those that appear when one tries to follow a dream that is not readily accessible – such as reaching a magical castle, transforming a bicycle into a mouse or building a bridge in a beautiful place.
Simply put, if at least one child becomes a better person after hearing one of the stories, then The Wonderful Roundabout would have fulfilled its purpose.