All good books contain role models that the reader strives to be like, and this is especially the case in children’s books. Children are like sponges who soak up everything around them, and when it comes to books they don’t just read them, they live them. They like to read about characters who have to face hard tasks, make difficult decisions, and who contribute greatly to achieving necessary aims. This is never more so than in fantasy books where worlds depend on the achieving of key tasks by brave adventurers. These characters usually have traits that the children already admire, or something about the situation the character finds themselves in reminds the child of their own life. It is all down to association, or striving to be a better person. We all like to think of ourselves as facing adversity with courage, strength and cunning, and in books we can do just that from the safety of our armchair.
Books play a starring role in the development of children’s personalities. They read something they like, associate with a lead character, and try to be more like them in real life. Providing the character has positive qualities to imitate, this is a great influence. Fortunately, most children’s books do encompass good role models!
Reading books is a vital part of children’s lives, and should be encouraged at all times. In fantasy they can lose themselves in worlds beyond their reach in adventures they can experience safely, and in quests that always end in success and the conquest of Good over Evil.
Role models come in many shapes and forms. They might be brave heroes who wield magic swords, Princesses kindly ruling their kingdoms, ordinary people thrust into other magical worlds, or creatures given human qualities by the book’s author. Anything goes in fantasy, because the world is introduced and built by the pen. It is the author who has to make their characters believable and likeable so that the reader will cheer them on when they face adversity. This is how role models are made, and the best books leave the reader longing to see more about their favourite character.