by Anne E. Neuberger
To Love Tenderly: Introducing Children to Acts of Compassion and Justice contains thirty-two short, absorbing stories about children and families from many different countries and cultures: from Tanzania to El Salvador, from the United States to Croatia, from Sweden to China. Some are based on real-life situations, others on folk tales. But they all introduce children to the realities of poverty, injustice, and abuse of natural resources, to help them develop a strong sense of identification with children all over the world. The stories are grouped according to age levels (from kindergarten to fourth grade). They can be read aloud, or acted out by the children with simple puppets. There is also information on how to involve children in one or both of two different social justice projects: learning about hunger and learning about child labor. These projects have actually been carried out with groups of children and offer practical and enjoyable learning experiences. Finally, several plays help children put themselves into situations of other children throughout the world whose lives are different from their own. To Love Tenderly: Introducing Children to Acts of Compassion and Justice is an invaluable resource first of all for Catholic school religion teachers, parish catechists, and families. Teachers of geography, social studies, and even literature will also find it a refreshing and unique source of educational material.