The Little Brute Family

Author: Russel Hoban
Plot Summary: The little brute family is an unhappy group. They eat stick and stone porridge and fight with each other every day. One day, the baby finds a good feeling while playing in a field of daisies. He decides to bring the good feeling home in his pocket. Once the family feels the good feeling, everything changes in how they interact with one another and in how they feel about life.
Posted In: Aesthetics, Metaphysics

Discussion Questions
  • What is happiness?
  • What is joy?
  • What is sadness?
  • What is a good feeling?
  • Is a good feeling the same as happiness?
  • Is a bad feeling the same as sadness?
  • What makes you happy?
  • What makes you feel good?
  • What makes you sad?
  • What makes you feel bad?


After the discussion, you can bring in a small gift for each child (like a little bag with tangerine, pencil, or Hershey’s kisses). After passing out the gifts, ask, “How did you feel when you received the gift?’ Then pose the question: What is something you can do to make someone else feel good? Students could write about these questions in their philosophy journals.

Contributed by Ruby Dawn Lyman