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Children’s Book on Compassion: “The Three Questions”

I’ve been working with the boys on how to recognize someone in need and encouraging them to have the confidence to act when they recognize a need.  It has been so rewarding (and fun) to watch them work on this.

I used the book The Three Questions to create a chance to discuss how to know who to help.  The book focuses on a story that discusses three questions:

  • When is the best time to do things?
  • Who is the most important one?
  • What is the right thing to do?

The Three Questions is written and illustrated by Jon J Muth.  (Muth based this children’s book on a story by Leo Tolstoy.)  Not only are the pictures gorgeous but the storyline is perfect for children! The heron, the monkey, and the dog are funny and relatable characters as they try to help their friend Nikolai.  Nikolai has three pressing questions, and he goes on a his journey to find answers.  In his journey, he serves along the way.  I LOVE THIS!  It gave us a chance to talk about each service act, how it helped another, and Nikolai’s behavior in each instance.

I love that the story shows Nikolai, a child, helping others.  Bravo!  (and, frankly, the topics that this story can cover are numerous . . . a great book to start a philosophical discussion with your kids!)

This story is a book that will help parents and children explore topics of service, compassion, and how to figure out who to help, when to help, and doing the right thing. This is a book that is great for a one time read but is more powerful with revisits to the story.

As I have continued to encourage my children to find ways to recognize others in need, we have continued to talk about Nikolai and his three questions.