Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A Picture Book a Day for a Year: Day 95

Picture Book: Washing the Willow Loon

Author: Jacqueline Briggs Martin

Illustrator: Nancy Carpenter

Summary: This is a beautiful story about one willow loon who becomes covered in oil from an oil spill. A driver notices the loon in the shallows but thinks, “What’s one bird? It’s not my worry,” and drives past. A house painter tries to net her, but she swims away. Eventually a baker gently nets her and takes her to a place where a series of trained workers, including a barber, a teen, an old woman, and an artist, carefully clean her. Ultimately she is released into the wild. Throughout the book, there is a refrain from the volunteers, “I have work to do.” The detailed regimens of these important tasks are described with reverence for the birds and the work. 

Hanna’s Comments: I especially like the contrast the author draws between the rationalizing driver who passes by the loon and the volunteers who have obviously invested time and training to learn how to deal with this unusual need. The focus on the one loon gives this story a great deal of emotional heft. Also, the many steps of the rehabilitation process for the bird are enlightening.

Publisher & Date of Publication: Simon & Schuster, 1995

Age & Grade Appropriateness: 5 and up, K and up

# of Pages: 32

Available in Spanish? Not at present

Formats other than Book: None at present

PBT Category: Pre 2K

PBT Topics this Book Connects with: action, animals, attentiveness/observation/seeing, baptism/washing, beach/ocean/sea/shore, body of Christ, brokenness, caring/tending, care of creation, dependence/interdependence, disaster, the environment/nature, fear, found, fruit/fruit of the Spirit, generosity/giving/offering/stewardship, gentleness/meekness, gift/giftedness/talents, God’s care/providence, God’s nature, God’s will, goodness, helping, healing/healthcare, heroes, hiding/isolation/walls, holiness, humanity, image of God, intercession, kindness, labor/work, nurturing, outreach, partners/teamwork, pollution, power, prayer, problems/problem-solving, renewal/restoration, rescue, safe place/sanctuary, searching, servant hood/service/serving, sin, survival, transformation, trust/trustworthiness, underdogs, unity, victims, water, wisdom, works vs. faith/grace

Scripture Connections: the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37); washing Jesus’ feet (John 12:1-8) or head (Matthew 26:6-13)

Idea(s) for Application: Use this in a lesson or sermon on healing or transformation.  

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