Saturday, August 2, 2014

A Picture Book a Day for a Year: Day 105

Picture Book: Me and Momma and Big John

Author: Mara Rockcliff

Illustrator: William Low

Summary: The narrator of this stunning picture book is Little John who is proud of his Momma, a stonecutter at Big John, aka the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine in New York City. Momma is fulfilled by the dusty, back-breaking skill she recently learned. Little John is puzzled. For weeks Momma has worked on just one stone. When the stone is finished, Momma takes the whole family to see it and enormous Big John. Little John is awe-struck by the beauty of the cathedral, but he is puzzled that Momma’s name is not on the piece of art she proudly shows her family. When Momma shows them where her stone will be placed, Little John begins to understand that his Momma and the other stonecutters have come together not for an art to look at but “for an art to be.” And that art will “be” for a very long time.

Hanna’s Comments: Be sure to read the section in the back, About Big John, which gives the factual basis of this picture book. I was struck with not only the beautiful depiction of this massive cathedral that is still being built, but the patience required for its builders and the city that awaits its completion.   

Publisher & Date of Publication: Candlewick, 2012

Age & Grade Appropriateness: 3 and up, Pre and up

# of Pages: 32

Available in Spanish? Not at present

Formats other than Book: None at present

PBT Category: Non-fiction, Post 2K

PBT Topics this Book Connects with: abilities, America, art, awe, babies/children, beauty, body of Christ, call/calling/vocation, choir/music/singing/songs, church building/the Temple, commitment, gifts/giftedness/talents, God’s presence, heritage, humanity, humility, image of God, labor/work, mothers, participation, partners/teamwork, patience, perseverance, pleasing God/the Shema, power, preparation/preparing, pride, response to God, reverence, satisfaction, steadfastness, strength/strength in God, time/timing/over time, unity, waiting, worship

Scripture Connections: Leaving an inheritance to your children (Proverbs 13:22); Commit your work to the Lord (Proverbs 16:3); Present your bodies as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1); Let us not grow weary of doing good (Galatians 6:9)

Idea(s) for Application: Use in a homeschool/private school lesson for a study on various places of worship. 

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