I was born in 1970, which was a year in the center of a philosophical movement that was spreading throughout the western world. The influence of this movement can best be seen in what came out of publishing houses and the entertainment industry. “So Human an Animal,” by Rene Dubos, “Be Here Now,” by Ram Dass, and “Slaughter House Five,” by Kurt Vonnegut were just a few of the many books asking its readers to look at their lives and society from a different perspective. Ray Bradbury, Frank Herbert, Ursula K. Le Guin and other science fiction writers used their works as a mirror to our world. “Logan’s Run,” “Soylent Green,” “Planet of the Apes,” and other movies created discussions about the human condition. The Who, Pink Floyd, The Beetles, and the music industry was filled with social introspection and a cry for change.
It was an amazing time, but I had no idea what I was born into. I was unaware of the Vietnam War, I was three when America pulled out of it. I was unaware of the civil rights movement, and had no concept of racism. I didn’t know about Kennedy or Martin Luther King being shot. I was a child, and unaware of how the time I was born into would influence my upbringing.
A great deal of the media during the 1970s focused on social change, and a great deal of that focus was directed at the children of that decade, children like me. The media asked us to accept everyone, regardless of race or religion. It asked us to protect our planet. It asked us to create peace with all nations, and many of us never doubted that the world was becoming a better place, and that we would play a key role in making it so.
The 1970s was also when the “Philosophy for Children” movement began. Psychologists and researchers began to question Jean Piaget’s (1933) theory of cognitive development, which suggested that, prior to age 11 or 12, most children were not capable of philosophical thought. Research began to speculate that that Piaget’s theory seriously underestimated the cognitive ability of children. Children were found to have the ability of reflecting on their own experiences, and able to have thoughtful and insightful discussions, as early as third grade. Organizations like the Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children and the Society for the Advancement of Philosophical Enquiry and Reflection in Education (SAPERE) are now focused on promoting philosophy within children, and encourage children to think about thinking. In short, children are capable of thinking about thinking, and the children of the 1970s were brought up during a time when every form of media seemed to be focused on thinking about social change.
My Book, “Tales For Your Monkey’s Mind,” and the “Monkey Mind Tales Series,” was greatly influenced by the philosophical movement of late 1960s and early 1970s, when Children’s authors like Roald Dahl and Shel Silverstein asked their readers to think as they read. The themes in “Tales For Your Monkey’s Mind,” are universal and timeless. They deal with self-image, self-worth, socialization, and other issues that are always with us no matter what generation we may find ourselves in.
The whimsical writing style in “Tales For Your Monkey’s Mind” will be nostalgic for adults, and endearing to children. It is my hope that readers will finish the book feeling inspired. It is my hope for it to be used as a discussion tool for parents and their children. It is my hope for it to be used in therapy, classrooms, and as a means to promote thought within children.
Judging by the reviews I’ve received, it seems as if “Tales For Your Monkey’s Mind” is everything I hoped it could be.
“Collectively the stories remind us to be true to ourselves, let go of perfection, and to live authentic lives… Tales for Your Monkey’s Mind is sure to appeal to deep thinkers and philosophers, both young and old. What a nice reminder to keep in touch with one’s childhood and to keep a fresh mind.”
– The Children’s Book Review
“Tales For Your Monkey’s Mind by Steve Michael Reedy is a true win that parents can enjoy with their children and one that will help spread positive messages.”
– Readers’ Favorite
“The book will lead to a lot of interesting discussions between parents and kids, as the morals in each tale are multi-layered. Definitely recommended for kids and adults alike.”
– Self Publishing Review
“Tales for Your Monkey’s Mind succeeds at conveying some powerful themes in an engaging and informative fashion. The charm in this book is that these life lessons are fleshed out in a manner that children will understand and adults will applaud… an imaginative, well written and thought-provoking treasure for both children and adults.”
– Talk Nerdy To Us