Passkeys Foundation, The Cheerful Grump, Review

Heather —  October 15, 2009

Passkeys Foundation

Building Character

Building Character

Rating and Summary: 4.5.

Just recently, I received a book to review from the Passkeys Foundation…the Good News Express, The Cheerful Grump. I wish I had known about them all along! I really like the book I received, which tells a tale about how to be cheerful (and why) even when THINGS DON”T GO YOUR WAY. Wow, do we need things like this! Certainly, it is easy to be a cheerful, loving forgiving child when things go your way…but what about when your brother wakes up determined to be MAX from the Where the Wild Things are, you have to clean your room, and lunch stinks?…you get the picture!

Seriously, as a mom, have you ever found yourself sitting in frustration, near tears, in the middle of Barnes and Noble trying to find a book to help you teach your child something? Say, why they should not lie, or hit, or just be ugly because they feel like it?

Well, I sure have. As the mom of a large blended family, in which several kids really had times of crisis, I often felt like a psychiatrist without any tools!  In fact, I grew up in a warm, loving Christian home—I cannot imagine how difficult parenting can be at times for people who grow up under more difficult situations!

You know, that “Village” quote that keeps on making the rounds? The one about, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Well, these days, I often think our village is, at best, too busy, and at worst , dangerous and unkind. Groups like Passkeys are good to see.

I have noticed that these days, you can get wonderful things from Focus on the Family and even the major bookstores have begun carrying more books for children about character. For my youngest daughter, I have been thrilled to see these (but getting them easily came too late for my older ones!) We have two I can think of, Why We Don’t Fight, and What I do When I am Angry”. I have found these to be great tools.  Now we also have The Cheerful Grump!

I really am impressed with the book we got from The Passkeys Foundation. These books in the Good News Express series take developing character to a whole other level. They have four titles specifically for preschoolers, which are hardback (which I love, they actually last), with colorful, lovable characters. These books just teach the best lessons–having a good attitude, thankfulness, sharing and valuing people over things!  The set of four hardback books and each accompanying auditory CD is $20. See here.  You can get individual titles for $7.50 each. These would make wonderful Christmas presents.

Take a look at the website, The motto of the site is “Building a Nation of Character.” It appears that they have books, videos and lessons in mentoring and character development for all ages. The non-profit coalition is headed by Russell Williams, who gives a short address on the main page of the site about the legacy of teaching about noble character, see here.

In addition to the books, they have Character Mentoring Workshop downloads for parents, elementary schools and one for Mothers of preschoolers (MOPS) And these are just for the preschoolers.

The site offers free content such as character essays and podcasts, even weekly character mentoring messages. Their “Parts” department is where you can find books, CD’s and activity books. Take a look at the website to find some age appropriate character building items for your children. I am looking into getting some of the “Character Classics”, with stories about patience, perseverance, and self-control. (I found the website a bit tricky to navigate–it’s more businesslike than colorful…but take your time, it’s worth it)

To see what my TOS crewmates have to say, click here!

I did receive the Cheerful Grump free in return for my review. No, I don’t get paid. Bummer. (Anyway, How did they know this one was perfect for me?)


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One response to Passkeys Foundation, The Cheerful Grump, Review

  1. My boys love to read and be read to. Sounds like a book worth looking into. I also like the one you mentioned about “Why we don’t fight”. We could use that one around here.