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.) began arguing about God. The animals gave God characteristics like themselves. The wind argued that God was never still while the rock insisted that God never moved. The lion described God as a hunter; the robin claimed that God is gentle. Eventually wise Old Turtle stopped the arguing and offered a description of God that incorporated all the previous offerings and then ended simply with “God is.” Then Old Turtle forewarned of a new animal coming to join them who would be even more like God. The humans did come, but they forgot they were to be a message of love. They began to argue about God and use their power to hurt others and the Earth. Then a new response came from the other inhabitants who had spoken before. They declared God’s presence in a variety of ways. After a lonely and scary time, the people listened and even began to see God in one another and the beauty that surrounded them. Then Old Turtle and God smiled.

Hanna’s Comments: Part 1 of a dynamic duo, this is a wonderful fable of ecology, peace, and our legacy as being made in God’s image and interconnected with other inhabitants of Earth. 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.