Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A Picture Book a Day for a Year: Day 66

 Picture Book: Knots on a Counting Rope

Authors: Bill Martin Jr. & John Archambault

Illustrator: Ted Rand   

Summary: A Native American boy begs his grandfather to tell the story of the boy’s birth once again. Through prompting, the birth story and more are told: During a wind storm, the boy was born sickly & blind, but a pair of horses seemed to give him strength so he was named Boy-Strength-of-Blue-Horses at his naming ceremony. When a foal was born, it was given to the boy so he learned to swiftly ride through the trails despite his blindness. In a horse race, the boy and his horse do not win, but many spectators are amazed. At the end of the book, you learn that each knot in the rope represents a re-telling of the story until the boy can tell it himself.

Hanna’s Comments: This is a complicated but beautiful story that illustrates several themes: the loving bonds across generations, the importance of owning our origin stories, the power in a name, and the resilience of those who courageously adapt to their limitations. This would be a powerful story for grandparents to read to their grandchildren before sharing birth/origin stories. Faith and scripture stories could easily follow.                     

Publisher & Date Published: Holt & Company, 1987 

Age and Grade Appropriateness:  5 and up, K and up                                                 
# of Pages: 32                                                                                              
Available in Spanish? Not at present                                                         
Formats other than Book: Audio Cd, videos on Youtube (one version read by 2 professional actors)  

PBT Category: Pre 2K

PBT Topics this Book Connects with: abilities, acceptance, ancestors/patriarchs & matriarchs, attentiveness/observation/seeing, birth/birthday, bravery/courage, challenges, darkness/evening/night, difficulties, disabilities/handicaps/limitations, grandparents, identity/names, listening, memories/remembering/ritual/tradition, obstacles, parables/stories, perseverance, questioning/questions, reassurance, reflection

Scripture Connections: scripture stories in which a character is named or re-named; Saul becomes Paul (Acts 9) & Barnabus becomes his helper (Acts 13)

Idea(s) for Application: when teaching the importance of repeating faith stories such as at Passover or Eucharist/Communion

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