The Ultimate Way to Teach Your Kids About Stoic Philosophy – Stoic Fables!

Book Review: “The Stock Horse and the Stable Cat”

In a world full of distractions and complexities, teaching children timeless life lessons can be a challenging task. Luckily for us, “The Stock Horse and the Stable Cat” by Phil Van Treuren offers an creative solution to this predicament. Through stunning illustrations and simple prose, this book presents key ideas from Stoic philosophy, in fable format, that is not only accessible to children but also enjoyable adults. In this review, we will delve into the essence of this stoic fable.

A New Perspective on Stoic Philosophy

Stoicism, an robust ancient Greek philosophy, advocates for cultivating a mindset of acceptance, resilience, and appreciation for life’s nuances. It encourages individuals to focus on what they can control and embrace every situation with equanimity. “The Stock Horse and the Stable Cat” ingeniously encapsulates these principles within a simple narrative that revolves around an unlikely friendship between a steadfast stock horse and a clever stable cat. As these two characters explore their surroundings, their differing perspectives serve as a conduit for teaching readers about one of the core tenets of Stoicism.

Wisdom from the Stoics

The stock horse and the stable cat approach each experience with contrasting emotions, illustrating how our judgments color our perceptions. Through their dialogues, the book subtly delivers the message that events themselves are neutral; it is our interpretations and judgment that assign positive or negative value to them. Understanding that we are in control of your own judgments, and that our judgment colors our perception, empowers us to recognize the power we hold in shaping our emotional responses to life’s occurrences. Epictetus, the Stoic sage, once wisely stated, “It’s not things themselves that make us feel upset, but our judgments about things. This notion of interpreting events through the lens of judgment is beautifully illustrated by the interactions between the stock horse and the stable cat.

Artful Writing and Illustrations

Phil Van Treuren’s storytelling, and the Stoics philosophical wisdom is not all we get with this book. To top it off, the book is accompanied by charming illustrations, of vivid landscapes and beautiful scenery. I was surprised by the quality of the artwork. It adds an extra layer of engagement, making it an ideal choice for young readers.

A Stoic fable for both kid and adults.

“The Stock Horse and the Stable Cat” emerges not merely as a children’s book, but as a valuable tool for introducing profound philosophical concepts to young minds. By weaving Stoic philosophy into a fable, the book transcends age, resonating with young and older readers alike on a personal level. Moreover, it serves as a conversation starter for parents to discuss the significance of mindfulness, gratitude, and emotional resilience.

Further Reading on Stoicism

For those inspired to delve deeper into Stoic philosophy, there are numerous books that offer insights into its principles and applications. Works such as “Meditations” by Marcus Aurelius, “Letters from a Stoic” by Seneca, and “A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy” by William B. Irvine provide readers with a comprehensive understanding of Stoicism’s transformative power. You can find my review of “Letters from a Stoic” and my review of “A Guide to the Good Life” here.

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