Friday, May 16, 2014

A Picture Book a Day for a Year: Day 27

Dynamic Duo: Book 1

Picture Book: Old Turtle

Author: Douglas Wood

Illustrator: Cheng-Khee Chee

Summary: Long ago the animals & other inhabitants of Earth (the oceans, the rocks, etc.) argue about God. Each animal gives God characteristics like themselves. The wind argues that God is never still. Then the rock insists that God never moves. The lion describes God as a hunter; the robin claims that God is gentle. Eventually wise Old Turtle stops the arguing, offering a description of God that incorporates all the previous ideas and ending simply with “God is.” Old Turtle forewarns of a new animal coming who would be even more like God. Humans do come, but they forget to be like God. When the humans argue about God, they use their power to hurt others and the Earth. A new response comes from the other animals. They declare God’s presence in a variety of ways. After a lonely and scary time, the people listen and even begin to see God in one another and the beauty that surrounds them. Old Turtle and God smile.

Hanna’s Comments: Part 1 of a dynamic duo, this is a wonderful fable of ecology, peace, and human legacy as being made in God’s image. Interconnections with other inhabitants of Earth are emphasized. A choral symphony has been written based on this picture book. A sequel is tomorrow’s PBT Dynamic Duo picture book offering. Rabbi Sandy Eisenberg Sasso has written a similar book titled In God’s Name. I highly recommend it as well. It is published by Jewish Lights, a publisher of books for “Peoples of all Faiths, All Backgrounds.”

Publisher & Date of Publication: Scholastic, 1991

Age and Grade Appropriateness:
6 and up, 1st and up

# of Pages: 56

Available in Spanish?
Not at present

Formats other than Book: Youtube video

PBT Category: Pre 2K

PBT Topics this Book Connects with: arguing, differences, the environment/nature, God’s nature, humanity, image of God, mentors/teachers, pacifism/peace/peaceful/peacemakers/peaceable kingdom, pride, unity, wonder

Scripture Connections: Humans are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27), I am that I am (Exodus 3:14)

Idea(s) for Application: Read this book before taking a group of children from your faith community to a zoo or in a lesson exploring ecology or being made in God's image.

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