Countless attempts have been made to illustrate the abstract concept "respect" through stories. I know because I've purchased many of them for the elementary library where I was librarian. I've used several of those books for story times. Somehow most stories lacked something. Children seem to understand being "nice" to those they like, but following through and choosing to find something to like about all people, or treating fairly even those you don't really like is harder to carry out. Perhaps that is why I requested a review copy of Stephanie Robinson's book The Scotties Learn about Respect. I wanted to see how this latest book faired in explaining the elusive concept respect.
When Archie, one of the Scottie puppies, digs up the tomato plants after being asked by Mom (the human) to stay out of the garden, Mom becomes sad. Archie is admonished by Flea that he did not respect Mom's wishes. Bewildered, Archie asks what respect is. Flea replies that respect is form of caring. If Archie had followed Mom's wishes instead of his own desire to roll in the dirt, he would have been showing a form of respect.
This is a gentle book with illustrations to match. Both the author and illustrator were lovers of Golden Books when young, and this book has that flavor. Again, the lesson about respect centers around characters who already know each other and love each other, but the story itself is a quiet, heartwarming one. I received a copy of this title from Ambassador International for review purposes.