CHILDREN'S BOOKS AND FABLES THAT HAVE WISDOM ABOUT THE HUMAN CONDITION

Suggestions welcome
  1. The Sneeches
    This Dr. Suess classic reads at first like a parable about racial or ethnic discrimination, but morphs into a tale about fashion, vanity, and the way people tend to fetishize what they're not. The businessman who rolls into town and monetizes everyone's insecurities is a great metaphor for consumer culture in general.
  2. The Emperor's New Clothes
    The nudity is hilarious, of course, but this is a great lesson on groupthink and ass-kissing. I love how of course it's a kid that says the obvious thing that everyone was somehow blind to, because the kid is immune to that kind of social pressure.
  3. The Little Red Hen
    She baked a loaf of bread and kept asking for help, but no one would help her with any of it. Then, all her lazy friends begged her for a piece of the bread but she refused to share because she didn't feel they deserved it. Not sure exactly how I feel about this one but it's definitely a slice (ha!) of life.
  4. The Giving Tree
    Suggested by   @ChrisK
  5. The Giving Tree
    This is the first one that always comes to mind for me and my kid loves it as much as it bums me out. All about respecting the resources. Nobody did hippie messaging like Shel Silverstein.
    Suggested by   @sloan