Sunday, August 10, 2014

A Picture Book a Day for a Year: Day 113


Picture Book: Lost for Words

Author & Illustrator: Natalie Russell

Summary: With a new pad of paper and pencils, Tapir is ready to write, but no words come. He sees his friends, Giraffe, Hippo, and Flamingo, writing easily and well. Tapir becomes envious and tries writing in their specific environments hoping it will help, but to no avail. Eventually Tapir sits on a hill with an inspiring view. This time when he puts pencil to paper, he begins drawing his friends' 3 beautiful environments, adding details for his friends to enjoy and eventually inserting drawings of his friends. Tapir is pleased to discover what he can do well as are his friends who affirm Tapir’s skill.  The book ends in this way: “Tapir didn’t need words after all. Not one! His colorful drawings said everything he wanted to say. And they said it perfectly.”

Hanna’s Comments: This is a thought provoking book about giftedness and envy. Both are subjects worthy of conversation in religious education. Children and adults have a tendency to value most those attributes they don’t possess. Think of this book as offering an opportunity to affirm people in your faith community who have skills that may be less noticeable, less valued, less common, or less “spiritual” than other skills.The subject of prayer would be a perfect context for this book. Those who can pray aloud are often recognized when praying silently is just as valuable. Moreover pride can sometimes sneak in when praying aloud. Are words even necessary when praying? Sometimes, like Tapir, I don’t believe I need words at all to be in communion with God. “Not one!”  

Publisher & Date of Publication: Peachtree, 2013

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: Fresh Off the Press

PBT Topics this Book Connects with: abilities, acceptance, affirmation, anxiety/worry, art, attentiveness/observation/seeing, authenticity, beauty, call/calling/vocation, communication, coveting/envy/jealousy, creativity/imagination/ingenuity, differences, difficulties, disabilities/handicaps/limitations, gifts/giftedness/talents, language/literacy/reading, prayer, prevenient grace, reflection, self-acceptance/self-image/self-esteem, self-discovery

Scripture Connections: Do not covet (Exodus 20:17); every good gift is from above (James 1:17); each has received a gift, use it to serve one another (1 Peter 4:10)

Idea(s) for Application: As described in my comments above, this would be a fitting book to offer when talking to children or adults about prayers to God.