Listening to the Mukies and Their Character Building Adventures
by Robert Bohlken, Ph.D.
These eight short stories help children develop positive character building traits and improve their reading and listening skills.
The stories are set in a primitive society in which the usually optimistic and happy Mukies (pronounced with a long U) work together to solve
problems. These compassionate and wise characters demonstrate problem-solving techniques. They address character building skills such as respect, courage, cooperation, tolerance, honesty, and peaceful co-existence.
With major emphasis on character building in our schools today the Mukies show us how each individual can contribute to a peaceful society and make a difference. This primitive society of Mukies provides lessons that are relevant to today’s youth.
Their encounters help teach such values and character building traits as mutual respect, cooperation, wisdom, love and caring, responsibility, nondiscrimination, peaceful co-existence and many other skills children need to develop. Each story helps to present its lessons in a subtle, interesting way.
The adventures of the Mukies reinforce and expand on the importance of listening to each other. Whether listening to themselves or their friends and family, they reveal the value of effective listening.
The interactions of reader and listener are as important as the messages presented. Questions and school/family activities to stimulate discussion and improve listening skills are at the end of each story.
Bohlken says, “one of the primary goals of this book is to promote discussion between parents and their children.” Parents are the most important influences in helping their children develop good moral character. By reading together with their children, they have an opportunity to discuss issues such as cooperation, understanding, and mutual respect.
You read together, you listen to each other, and you interact with stories that require problem solving.
The book is illustrated in black and white by artist Michele Sherlock Veasey. This method was used expressly so children could use their imagination in visualizing the actions of the Mukies. In this way children rely less on images and more on the messages presented. Bohlken states, “the emphasis is on the message, and you create the images in your own mind.”
Softcover, perfect binding, 7 x 9 inches, 104 pages