Thoughtful Tales for Growing Minds

These books aim to help children to develop a moral compass for a secular age. They are designed to be read aloud by adults to children and contain clear jumping-off points where children can talk about their feelings as events arise in the stories.

NEW BOOK for 2022!
Growing up as a Tree in Africa
Can you imagine?

The Entandrophragma tree has stood out above other trees in the forests of East Africa for hundreds of years and it has seen a lot in its long life. Here children imagine what it must be like to grow from a seed into the queen tree of the forest. They learn of the challenges faced by a seed and a tree in its early years of life. The stories describe the life of the forest at day and at night and imagine what might become of the forest in the hands of human beings.

We learn how trees talk to each other and how they affect the insects and birds around them. The book fosters a fascination with trees and a desire to preserve them for future generations.

These thoughtful tales are designed to be read aloud by adults to children. They contain jumping off points that prompt conversation between the adult and child.

Inner page of Growing Up As A Tree In Africa
Inner page of Growing Up As A Tree In Africa
Inner page of Growing Up As A Tree In Africa
Inner page of Growing Up As A Tree In Africa

What Readers say..

This book has everything: an engaging story, opportunities to interact, fascinating facts about trees, forests and the creatures that inhabit them. Children will revisit this book time and time again.
Jill, teacher, parent and granny, UK
Children will love this book. Many of them hardly realise that plants and trees are living organisms. The tales stretch children's imagination by asking them to empathise with a tree and understand the many challenges it faces.
Peter, teacher and director, Isaac Newton Humanist School, Masaka, Uganda.
A lovely book to engage with children and arouse their interest in the world around them. It encourages conversation and stimulates imagination. Beautifully illustrated and thoughtfully produced.
Dave, teacher, parent, grandad, UK.
The book reminds me of an African Proverb: Wisdom is like a baobab tree, no one person can embrace it. However, this book takes children a long way towards appreciating the complexity of our forests and understanding the pressures they face.
Juma, biologist, school director, Katumba Parents Humanist School, Uganda.
I am amazed by the amount of information and ideas packed into this little book - all with such a light touch and gorgeous illustrations to stimulate the imagination of every child.
Ruth, avid tree planter, UK.
I think this book is amazing. It teaches you loads about trees but in a fun way. I loved how you were in the
perspective of the tree.
Flo, grand-daughter, age 12, UK
Growing up as a Tree in Africa
Price with post & packing

Other books in the series include

Chimps of Kyambura

Book 2
Chimps of Kyambura children's book

Chimps of Kyambura introduces children to a wonderful place in Uganda, in Africa, where about 28 chimpanzees share a narrow gorge with a rich variety of plants and other creatures. The stories give an insight into chimp lives and behaviour and the natural history of the gorge.

Through the antics of the chimps, children are exposed to humanistic values such as: the value of knowledge, the need for patience and persistence if we are to achieve our goals in life, showing empathy and caring for others, making and keeping friends, being inquisitive and fostering the desire to learn new things, and how sharing helps us to make connections.


What Readers say..

A delightful introduction to the family life of chimpanzees and a great opportunity for young children to explore how they feel about similar events and actions in their own lives.
Christine, Middle School Teacher, Mother and Granny.
I really welcome this book, which is very colourful, educative and excites the growing minds of our children.
Robert, Kanungu Humanist Primary School.
The chimps are so human in their behaviour. I love the empathy the characters show towards each other.
Good to meet Humfry the Hippo again!
Annette, Biology teacher
This book is wonderful.  It looks absolutely beautiful and the story, information and questions to instigate thoughtful discussion with children are just great.
Gill, Teacher and Granny.
Our children love this book, where Humanist values emerge from chimp behaviour.
Juma, Katumba Parents’ Humanist Primary School.
What a lovely book! I like the way the book includes lots of talking points. For me, that's how a book for young children should be, so it's a pleasurable conversation at the same time as conveying information and ideas.
Enid, Psychologist, Mother & Granny.
Buy Chimps of Kyambura here
Price with post & packing

Humfry Hippo Moves Home

Book 1
Humfry Hippo Moves Home children's book

Stories of the challenges of moving home. Humfry has to move when the waterhole where he lives dries up. Through Humfry’s experiences, children will be prepared for a real home move – missing old friends, feelings of loneliness, remembering and making new friends.

Both Hippos and Humans face challenges when they move home. In Humfry’s case, he had to move when the waterhole where he lived dried up. In this set of Tales, Humfry has to cope with thirst, hunger, loss of his friends, loneliness, how to react to strangers, making new friends and finally settling in a new home. In the depth of his loneliness he recalls an old hippo legend, told to him by his grandmother, which makes him think about envy and jealousy.


What Readers say..

I love it. I really enjoy reading about Humfry. Florence
The stories are amazing! Pietro
This is a brilliant set of tales for children which entertain, educate and get them thinking about moral issues and living a good and happy life with their friends, families and communities.
Gillian, librarian, teacher and grandmother, UK.
Our children love them, and our teachers enjoy using them. They encourage children to talk about their feelings and improve their English-speaking skills. The language level is perfect for primary age children in Uganda.
Juma, Katumba Parents Humanist Primary School, Uganda.
I like the way real animal behaviour has been slipped into the tales as well as ideas for the children to express their views on human foibles.
Lynn, biologist and grandmother, UK.
The Humfry Tales encourage children to talk in a thoughtful way about their feelings. The book is unique compared with the more usual rhyme and story books.
Hellen, New Hope Day Care Humanist Nursery School,
Ntoroko, Uganda.
Buy Humfry Hippo Moves Home here
Price with post & packing

Written by Steve Hurd
Illustrated by Helen Machin-Mayer.

ISBN 978-1-8382762-0-1 5 short stories  36 pages  £10 per copy
All proceeds will go to support Humanist Schools in Uganda

Uganda Humanist Schools Trust has set up a Human Studies Project with the Humanist Schools in Uganda. The aim is to create a resource bank of materials on important topics and to approach them in an empathetic humanist way. For primary children we have developed the concept of “Thoughtful Tales for Growing Minds“, and are writing a series of books that teachers and other adults can read to children to stimulate thinking, questions and discussion. We are fortunate to be working with an outstandingly talented illustrator, Helen Machin-Mayer and, given the universal themes explored in the books, they are being written for an international audience.
So, if you have children or grandchildren please place your order now.

The books are published by Uganda Humanist Schools Trust.
Proceeds will be used by the Trust to support the education of bright but needy children in humanist schools in Uganda.

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All content © copyright Steve Hurd 2022 / All illustrations © copyright Helen Machin-Mayer 2022