Friday, May 25, 2018

PBT God Book #10 - God's Paintbrush x 2

Picture Book: God’s Paintbrush
Author: Rabbi Sandy Eisenberg Sasso
Illustrator: Annette Compton
Summary: This book is designed to evoke conversation between adults and children about what God is like and how individuals might make their beliefs more meaningful. Through the imagination of the child characters, God’s nature and design for our world are considered via everyday images and experiences that children often encounter. Each page or double page spread has 1 or 2 questions that will likely lead to meaningful conversations.
Hanna’s Comments: This is one of the most popular books for children about God’s nature. Although it is written by a rabbi, she has written it in a way that is non-sectarian and very open-ended. It's very inviting and non-threatening. Parents, grandparents, teachers, and ministers will all see it as a valuable tool. The 10th Anniversary edition has a message from the author and ideas for encouraging even more conversation about God. Also available is God’s Paintbrush Celebration Kit, a curriculum that offers materials on 5 topics: What is God Like?, Seeing, Hearing & Speaking, Touching, and Doing. These are the Biblical texts explored in this curriculum: portions of Genesis 1, Deuteronomy 6, 1 Kings 19, Psalms 29, 34, 100, & 150 and Isaiah 66. For very young children, look for I am God's Paintbrush, a board book version of this book. 
Original Publisher & Date: Jewish Lights, 1992
Age & Grade Appropriateness: 4 and up, Pre and up
Formats other than Book: Tablet
Scripture Connections: O Lord, how manifold are Your works (Psalm 104:24); for we are God's workmanship (Ephesians 2:10); work heartily as for the Lord (Colossians 3:23)
Idea(s) for Application: Read this book as part of a discussion with children on what God is like. Be sure to take advantage of all the questions provided in the book for an easy and meaningful lesson for many age groups.

Monday, May 21, 2018

New Series: Psalms for All Ages #1 (Ps. 139)

Coming up the first week of June, The Revised Common Lectionary has Christians all over the world reading portions of Psalm 139. It's my favorite psalm so I thought it would be fun to create a new PBT series that promotes connecting picture books to The Psalms
I'm passionate about The Psalms. We don't typically think of them as good subjects for lessons, particularly for children. But the whole range of human emotions and a vast range of human experiences are found in The Psalms. Besides, it's really good for our ears to hear poetry. Below you'll find 2 new books and many links to already featured books for exploring Psalm 139 across some age groups, youngest to adult.

Picture Book: From Head to Toe, God Made Me
Author: Mikal Keefer
Illustrator: David Harrington
Summary: This board book is part of a new 6 book series: Best of Li’l Buddies. 
The buddies featured are part of Group's VBS curricula. 
Whether or not your a fan of Group Publishing, you should check these out. 
The ideas are simple and the pages are few. 
Your kids will love the animals and the adventures each human has. 
At the bottom of this book's Amazon page, find a great chart that gives you the "Bible Truth" that each book covers.
Original Publisher & Date: Group Publishing, 2017
Age & Grade Appropriateness: 1 and up, Toddler and up
Formats other than Book: Tablet
Scripture Connections: I praise You for I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14)
Hanna’s Comments: It's hard to find books for this age that are short enough but rich with content. Be sure to point out the other things in the book that God made wonderfully.

If your kiddos are a little older...
Picture Book: The Wonderful Happens
Author: Cynthia Rylant
Illustrator: Coco Dowley
Summary: Cynthia Rylant is a master picture book author! This is a secular book, like most I feature at PBT, but it celebrates God's created world so beautifully.
The setting is a farm where the ordinary is declared extraordinary! Wheat becomes yummy bread. 
A simple egg becomes a creature of the air. 
A seed becomes a beautiful rose. 
Other transforming miracles are celebrated. 
Fruit becomes pies. Water makes tea. 
Puppies become dogs and weather changes. 
And these changes happen everyday in an on-going way. But the most amazing is You (the reader or listener), who "happened" in miraculous ways. 
The wonderful is you!
Hanna’s Comments: Earlier at PBT, I featured some other books for young children that connect well with the concept of being wonderfully made as is celebrated in Psalm 139. Molly Bang's All of Me! is a celebration of body parts. For preschool and elementary ages, consider Beaumont & Catrow's I Like Myself! Kids a little older will enjoy Turner and Catrow's When God Made You
Original Publisher & Date: Simon & Schuster, 2000 
Age & Grade Appropriateness: 4 and up, Pre and up
Formats other than Book: None at present 
Scripture Connections: I praise You for I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14)

For older elementary children, tweens, teens, or adults, consider one of the many books here at PBT that celebrates artists. For these you can view the artists as wonderfully made OR you can see them as a metaphor for God - our wonderful maker. Here are links to several PBT books about artists:

Friday, May 18, 2018

CEF Conference Workshop and PBT eBook

Picture Book Theology: 5 Books, 20 Applications
How does that sound for a workshop title? 

If you’d like to see my presentation, attend the Curious Church Conference sponsored by CEF (Christians Engaged in Faith Formation) October 9-12 in Des Moines, Iowa. This is a great opportunity for those in church ministry (lay, staff, or pastors) to gather, connect, learn, worship, and discover. Some Christian headliners will be at the conference, like Brian McLaren and Carrie Newcomer. Find out more [here]. I hope many of you will join me in Iowa!

If you join CEF or are a member now, you can access my eBook 25 Picture Books about Justice published in partnership with CEF. Everyone can access a free sample via the PBT eBook tab above!