Welcome to Learning To Be Wise…

An educational book series by Sally Saffer

home_page_top_graphic4This website introduces the first four books that form the foundation of the Learning to be Wise series. Each story is based on an Aphorism, a brief statement of principle or simple truth. All of the stories captivate readers with appealing characters and interesting situations. Although the stories were written primarily for children ages 8-10 or grades 2-4, the age and/or grade will depend on each individual child’s reading ability.


  1. Relevant, Relatable Content

The characters in each book face current issues, familiar situations and relevant challenges. The content appeals to all children, drawing them in and creating the common bond of understanding. The variety of life experiences explored within the stories encourages the reader to develop empathy for others. Learning about situations that can occur outside of their family and small circle of friends broadens their own life lessons.

  1. Diverse Story Characters and Situations

As our population continues to become more diverse, there’s a need to reflect this diversity in our literature. When publishing for young children, it becomes even more important; it’s a pivotal time to be forming an understanding of their world and the people in it.

The Learning to be Wise series differs from the usual books selected by U.S. book publishers, who continue to market primarily to the top 10 percent of the socioeconomic population. Those who are beginning to focus on diversity are offering books directed toward a specific group, such as Hispanics.

This series uses a more general approach to diversity. The series includes diversity in nationality, ethnicity, gender and socially related life circumstance. Newer books will include religion, disabilities, and other aspects of diversity. When used in a classroom setting, this approach enables all students to learn about different kinds of diversity together, through books that cover it in more general terms. Of course, when books are purchased for use at home, children learn about diversity in the same way.

  1. Valuable Lessons for Everyday Life

All current and future books in the series follow a similar format. The children in each story experience a personal situation or face an issue that challenges their thinking. At some point, someone (usually an adult) makes a comment that includes the use of an Aphorism. Due to children’s lack of familiarity with Aphorisms, they want to know what the odd words means. Once explained, the Aphorism is applied to the situation at hand and the children learn the lesson associated with it. Using colorful illustrations and relatable situations means the brain will retain the information provided in the story.

  1. Creativity and Skill Building

The books’ colorful illustrations appeal to children and the imaginative content inspires teachers to develop new programs and/or materials. The stories act as a springboard to other subjects such as writing, math or problem solving. And they are used to encourage children’s imagination. For example, a class of third-graders in South Carolina gave Little Wise Guy his name. These youngsters participated in a 90-minute program that included an introductory segment on “the art of storytelling” and an art project that was part of a contest to choose the owl’s name.

  1. Coming Soon: Companion Items

As the Learning to be Wise series continues to be developed, more non-book items will be available to enhance learning and make the stories more appealing to youngsters. Upcoming items you’ll be able to order include bookmarks, posters, stickers and thank you cards. There are plans to develop other owl-logo items that will extend learning beyond the classroom and provide more fun.


“You have a great writing style and did a nice job of keeping the reader engaged, which is very important for the reader you are targeting. You slowly make your way through the story with details and a certain voice, allowing your readers to really interact with characters that are nicely developed and easy to identify with.”

Lisa Conner
Manuscript Review Team, Outskirts Press

“The value of the books to education is reaching children who might not hear the lessons in other ways. By providing positive alternatives they might not be exposed to; and, of course, by reinforcing valuable lessons for all children.”

Beth Arrington, Third Grade
Bryson Elementary School, Fountain Inn, SC

“The stories are an absolutely hearts delight for the child in each of us.”

 Barbara Maples, K-12 Educator
Atlanta, GA; San Francisco, CA, Minneapolis, MN

“This is an amazing series, my kids loved the books and I loved reading to them. We all gained something from the books.”

Mrs. Beth Turney

 “Bought the series for my granddaughter who at seven was taking life much too seriously, I’m very pleased with the result, – a happier, more relaxed kid, able to move on from lifes’ little mishaps now.”

Joanne Carson

 “I bought these books for my eight year old neice and she loves them. Each book has a wonderful story that clearly presents a true life lesson. The illustrations are delightful!”

Susan Boddy