Quaker Parenting and Family Resources
The Quaker Parenting Initiative aims to support parents in their efforts to integrate their Quaker beliefs, testimonies, and practices into their family life. Three queries guide our efforts as we seek to articulate the role of Quakerism in our parenting:
- What Quaker beliefs—such as seeing that of God (or the Divine, the Inner Light) in every person—set the tone for our parenting?
- How do the Quaker testimonies of integrity, equality, peace, simplicity, stewardship, and service guide how we respond to and guide our children?
- How do the Quaker practices—such as being mindful, asking queries, and holding in the Light—prove invaluable to our parenting?
"Supporting and Nurturing the Quaker Parent," http://www.fgcquaker.org/resources/supporting-and-nurturing-quaker-parent
"Young Families and Quakerism: Will the Center Hold?", Friends Journal article, May 2008
"Parenting for Adulthood" Friends Journal article, November 2007
Excerpts from "Whispers of Faith: Young Friends Share their Experiences of Quakerism", Friends Journal article, November 2005
"Simple Riches: Reflections on the Work of the Quaker Parent", Friends Journal article, July 2001
Selected Stories for Quaker Children
Since many parents have expressed an interest in understanding Quakerism and Quaker values, the Religious Education Committee is providing information which we hope you and your family will find relevant.
Here is a short selection of children’s book that celebrate Quaker values. Enjoy!
Stories about Quakers
The Adventures of Obadiah by Brinton Turkle (ages 4-8)
New York: Puffin Books, 1972
Obadiah’s wildest story is true after all.
Thy Friend Obadiah by Brinton Turkle (ages 4-8)
New York: Puffin Books, 1969
Obadiah’s new friend is a sea gull – the gull follows him everywhere, even to Meeting.
The Boy Who Loved to Draw, Benjamin West by Barbara Brenner (ages 4-8)
Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1999
The childhood of American painter Benjamin West (1738-1820).
Maria’s Comet by Deborah Hopkinson (ages 4-8)
New York: Alladih Paperbacks, 2003
Inspired by the life of America’s first woman astronomer.
Obadiah the Bold by Brinton Turkle (ages 9-12)
Sandwich MA: Beautifcul Feet Books, 1965
Obadiah plays pirate and uses his new spyglass to watch the ships in Nantucket harbor.
Rachel and Obadiah by Brinton Turkle (ages 9-12)
Sandwich MA: Beautifcul Feet Books, 1978
A story of Obadiah and his sister Rachel on Nantucket Island.
Stories Encompassing Quaker Values
The Earth Book / The Feelings Book / The Peace Book / Its Okay to Be Different
by Todd Parr (ages 2-5)
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2009
These bring and boldly-colored books bring a range of simple contructs to often abstract ideas of nature, emotions, peace, and diversity.
Stone Soup by Jon Muth (ages 2-4)
New York, Scholastic Books, 2003
Three monks travel along mountains trying to understand what makes one happy.
Because Nothing Looks Like God by Lawrence and Karen Kushner (ages 3-6)
Jewish Lights, 2000
Mixing sparks of curiousity and spiritual imagination, the authors address the questions, “Where is God?”, “What does God look like?”, and “How does God make things happen?”, and show how God is with us everyday in every way.
The Empty Pot by Demi (ages 3-6)
Henry Holt, 1996
This simple Chinese story demonstrates integrity, with beautiful intricate drawing to match.
The Story of Ferdinand / El Cuento de Ferdinando by Munro Leaf (ages 3-6)
Grosset and Dunlap, 2003
Ferdinard the pacifist bull finds peace underneath his cork tree.
Tunjur! Tunjur! Tunjur! A Palestinian Folktale by MacDonald, Muhawi, and Kananah (ages 3-6)
Marshall Cavendish Children’s Books, 2006
A childless woman prays to Allah for a child and is rewardsed with a little cooking pot with human attributes, who steals. The pot is set straight in the end, after numerous adventures.
Beatrice’s Goat by Page McBrier (ages 3-6)
Simon and Schuster, 2004
Beatrice and her family receive a goat, and, with the goat's bounty, the family soon has enough money to send Beatrice to school. The Heifer Project is told in a simple, colorful story.
Zen Shorts by Jon Muth (ages 3-7)
New York, Scholastic Books, 2005
A giant panda tells three classic Zen stories “that abound with enlightenment and love”.
The Quilt Maker’s Gift by Jeff Brumbeau (ages 4-8)
New York: Orchard Books, 2000
The story of a greedy king who learns to get happiness from giving.
The Quilt Maker’s Journey by Jeff Brumbeau (ages 4-8)
New York: Orchard Books, 2004
A tale of the value of generosity and community.
Four Feet, Two Sandals by Karen Lynn Williams and Khadra Mohammad (ages 4-8)
Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, 2007
In a relief camp, 10-year old Lina finds one sandal to wear in a used clothing pile, and Feroza elsewhere finds the other. Soon they meet and decide to share their sandals and their dreams.
Wangari’s Trees of Peace: A True Story from Africa by Jeannette Winter (ages 4-8)
Harcourt Children’s Books, 2008
This short but powerful picture book follows 2004 Nobel Peace Prize Kenyan environmentalist Wangari Maathai from her rural childhood to her adult life as founder of the Green Belt Movement.
The Librarian from Basra: A True Story from Iraq by Jeannette Winter (ages 4-8)
Harcourt Children’s Books, 2005
When war seemed imminent, Alia Muhammad Baker, chief librarian of Basra's Central Library, was determined to protect Basra’s books. She moved the library into a nearby restaurant only nine days before the library burned to the ground. When the fighting moved on, she transferred the 30,000 volumes to her and her friends' homes to await peace and the rebuilding of a new library.
The Three Questions, Based on a Story by Leo Tolstoy by Jon Muth (ages 4-8)
New York, Scholastic Books, 2002
A story about compassion and living in the moment.
The Story of the Kind Wolf by Peter Nikl (ages 4-8)
Zurich: Nord-Sud Verlag AG 1982
A book that pokes fun at stereotypes.
The Patchwork Path, A Quilt Map to Freedom by Bettye Stroud (ages 4-8)
Cambridge, MA: Candlewisk Press, 2005
A story of a father and daughter who made the dangerous journey to Canada to escape slavery.
One Grain of Sand, A Lullaby by Pete Seeger (ages 4-9)
Megan Tingley, 2004
This is a story of parental love and the feelings of amazement at the beauty of the world and a commitment to justice that such love can give.
Dear Benjamin Banneker by Andrea Davis Pinkney (ages 9-12)
San Diego: Voyager Books, 1994
The story of Benjamin Banneker, an acconplished astronomer and mathematician, who was born free when most blacks were still enslaved and took a stand against slavery.