Tending the Heart of Virtue and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy New
$23.34
Qty:1
  • List Price: $29.95
  • Save: $6.61 (22%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Trade in your item
Get a $3.56
Gift Card.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Tending the Heart of Virtue: How Classic Stories Awaken a Child's Moral Imagination Paperback – February 7, 2002


See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$23.34
$20.05 $17.48


Frequently Bought Together

Tending the Heart of Virtue: How Classic Stories Awaken a Child's Moral Imagination + Books That Build Character: A Guide to Teaching Your Child Moral Values Through Stories
Price for both: $38.65

Buy the selected items together

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Series: How Classic Stories Awaken a Child's Moral Imagination
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (February 7, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195152646
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195152647
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #249,066 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Guroian is an Eastern Orthodox theologian whose intention is to help busy parents make the right choices of "what books and stories to read with children." But this hasn't the content of William Bennett's anthology, and it's scarcely a guide in the way that Noel Perrin's recent first-rate volume, A Child's Delight, is. Guroian devotes the bulk of the text to explaining the Christian (ergo "virtuous") underpinnings and symbology of a few works by Hans Christian Andersen, C.S. Lewis and George MacDonald. The problem is he never gives a sense of artistic proportion or shows how or why classic stories are more likely to "[a]waken a Child's Moral Imagination" than a Spiderman comic. Ironically, he points out that "[m]ere instruction in morality is not sufficient to nurture the virtues. It might even backfire, especially when the presentation is heavily exhortative and the pupil's will is coerced." His discussions are often just that, loudly demonstrating nothing so much as his own facility in detecting biblical allusions. He finds that the themes of love and friendship in Carlo Collodi's Pinocchio and Kenneth Grahame's Wind in the Willows owe their sublimity to Christianity rather than their authors' humanity. Having damned critics Roger Sale and Jack Zipes for discerning faults in Andersen's "The Little Mermaid," he says of the story's ending that we must ask ourselves: "why would we want our children or ourselves to be content with [300 years of mer-life] when [Christian] immortality has been proffered?" Unfortunately, such arrogance pervades Guroian's tome. The concluding bibliographic essay is dismally short of recommendations.-- when [Christian] immortality has been proffered?" Unfortunately, such arrogance pervades Guroian's tome. The concluding bibliographic essay is dismally short of recommendations.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From School Library Journal

The word virtue in the title, as well as the reference in the introduction to William J. Bennett and Russell Kirk, bear witness to the author's position as a conservative and a member of the religious right. His aim in this intelligent and persuasive book is to encourage parents in their efforts to "form moral character in the young" through stories that are rich in moral messages and Christian mystic vision. He finds these qualities in works by Hans Christian Andersen, C. S. Lewis, George MacDonald, and classic 19th-century and early 20th-century literary fairy tales with themes of good and evil, sin and redemption, faith and mystic love. As a teacher of children's literature, he is well aware of educational programs propounding values clarification, and literary critics who approach stories from secular, social scientific, and psychological viewpoints, but what he seeks are works that embody "universally binding moral norms" with values that are rooted in God. Not surprisingly, Guroian finds these qualities in stories of the last century, when education was a matter of building character rather than acquiring information and practicing critical thinking. This scholarly yet readable book will provide assurance and inspiration to adults who look for titles that are strong in what he calls "moral imagination." His discussions of the religious and ethical assumptions on which the works of these classic authors are founded will, for teachers and literary critics, provide a useful corrective to postmodern reliance on secular and psychological analysis of all texts. His is a responsible voice for the value of tradition and of religion.
Shirley Wilton, Ocean County College, Toms River, NJ
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
5 star
7
4 star
1
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 8 customer reviews
You and your children will benefit immensely.
A Customer
The risks can be taken without having to endure the consequences of failure and the benefits and the rewards of success can be enjoyed freely.
W. Richard Marsh
I had forgotten how dark the original fairy tales were and how clear they were about good and evil.
Ellen Shay

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 49 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 4, 1999
Format: Hardcover
When Vigen Guroian [veegun ga-ROY-un] set out to teach a class on children's literature to his undergraduate students at Loyola College in Maryland,he invited his daughter's fourth-grade class in for some of the discussions. But after a discussion of Pinocchio, the undergrads were shocked and embarrassed to find that the fourth-graders had understood the book better than they had. Why was this?
The answer, Guroian says, is that we have neglected the development of the moral imagination. The college students literally were less capable of understanding the moral themes in the story of Pinocchio.
As Guroian writes in his new book, Tending the Heart of Virtue, the undergrads noticed that the fourth-graders were better at grasping "the nature and source of Pinocchio's temptations and backsliding, and were less ready to excuse him for the behavior that got him into so much trouble and caused his father such grief."
His students even began to suspect that "maybe they had lost something in growing up -- a sense of wonder that might have been better tended and retained" if they had been brought up reading books like Pinocchio. "Perhaps," Guroinan concludes, "the fourth graders they had met were actually nearer than they to the wellsprings of human morality and were better served by reading Pinocchio than they had been by taking a required college course in ethics."
Guroian's new book is subtitled, How Classic Stories Awaken a Child's Moral Imagination, and in it he explains that children are born with a strong moral sense. They always want to know if a character in a story is good or bad.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
32 of 32 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 9, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This book is a classic "must read" for all parents who want to instill solid character into their children. Guroian reviews many of the "classic" fairy tales and reveals the unbelievable distortion that has occurred with modern day translations, abridged versions, and animated movies. Time after time, Guroian traces the same awful conversion from the original Christian virtues and values to the quicksand-like obsessions with physical beauty, romantic love, and self. Reading his book gives parent's the truth about why fairy tales are so important for "tending the heart of virtue" in their children. For children reading the original fairy tales, they will see themselves and the deeper reality of things, complete with good and evil components, in a framework of an interesting and powerfully written story. In subsequently reading the original Pinocchio (covered in the book) to my two boys (8 and 10); we were all absolutely "stunned" by Collodi's brilliance, his language, and the truth that this great classic reveals about ourselves.
Don't miss this one. You and your children will benefit immensely.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Ellen Shay on December 19, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I stumbled across this book a few years ago when browsing through the various sections on Amazon's web site (it was in the National Public Radio section). The reviews sounded interesting, so I took a chance. I am so glad I did.
Like most people, I have been bombarded with the "Disney-fied" versions of most of our children's classics, where all the characters are cute and there are several shades of gray when it comes to the moral or point of the story. I had forgotten how dark the original fairy tales were and how clear they were about good and evil. The part of the book about Guroian's college class and a fourth grade class' reading of Pinochio reminded me just how much children really understand and how clearly and, sometimes, simply they view the world.
Reading this book has prompted me to find copies of the original stories. What an interesting discussion it would be to compare adults' and children's understanding of the how the original versions of the stories differ from the more recent or animated versions.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By W. Richard Marsh on February 11, 2010
Format: Paperback
I teach at a Christian Classical school and we have been reading this book together as a faculty over the school year. Recently we brought the author to town and were treated to both group and personal discussion with him about this book. Please ignore the "professional" reviews by those who cannot tolerate their conscience to come in contact with any work that appeals to a Christian source of morality. This book does a great job of reminding us that moral education is best taught through narrative, that a simple story carries more weight than years of lecture.

Modern child psychology tells us that we are respecting our children's "freedom" by allowing them to determine right from wrong and to choose for themselves clear goals of moral living. But this is synonymous to allowing them to choose for themselves what is good and healthy for them to eat, or what to learn at school. It is ridiculous to leave children to make such decisions for themselves because they lack the knowledge and life experiences that would allow them to choose properly. Children need our guidance as parents, teachers, and concerned adults to care for and nurture their moral being as well as their physical and mental being.

Guroian defines moral imagination as the process by which the self makes metaphors out of experiences and then uses those metaphors to find and suppose moral connections in experiences. Children naturally lack a wealth of life experience, and so fairy tales allow a child to explore metaphors without having the experience themselves. They can be transported to other worlds, imagine themselves in the place of heroes, and live through the struggles, glories, and moral dilemmas of the characters.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again