Friday, August 15, 2014

A Picture Book a Day for a Year: Day 118

Picture Book: Enemy Pie

Author: Derek Munson

Illustrator: Tara Calahan King

Summary: Jeremy Ross is the only person on the narrator’s enemy list. What he’s done to deserve such distinction is not nearly as important as the great way the narrator’s dad has for getting rid of enemies: enemy pie. The father pulls out an old worn recipe and begins to bake. The narrator assumes the pie will be disgusting, containing earth worms or perhaps used gum so he is surprised when a delicious smelling pie comes out of the oven. It must be a trick! Dad is tight-lipped about the ingredients of enemy pie, but he does explain that the only way enemy pie will work is for the narrator to spend a day with his enemy. And he has to be nice to him the whole day! Although it sounds horrible and scary, the boy agrees. Have you guessed the rest of the story? After spending a day together, the boys are great friends and the pie is delicious! The narrator never quite catches on, but that doesn’t really matter. He has a new friend and he no longer has an enemy.

Hanna’s Comments: Rivalries and cliques are natural aspects of growing up. When scriptures about these relationships are explained to children, too often they are not grounded in the reality of a child’s life. That’s what I like about this book.  Although the narrator is oblivious to the personal dynamics of this book, your audience likely won’t be. As you read, encourage them to identify the boys’ feelings and anticipate how their relationship will change. Then take it a step further. At the end of the book, ask them if the story would be different if the characters were all female. 

There is similar book that is worth your investigation. It is based on a medieval legend and is a beautiful rendering with a detailed Author's Note. The title is Never Say a Mean Word Again: A Tale from Medieval Spain by Jacqueline Jules. The illustrator is Durga Yael Bernhard. You might want to really dig into the subject of how to treat enemies with two picture books over a period of two meetings, one old story and one modern.  

Publisher & Date of Publication: Chronicle Books, 2000

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

# of Pages: 40

Available in Spanish? Yes

Formats other than Book: Video

PBT Category: Post 2K

PBT Topics this Book Connects with: acceptance, adaptation/assimilation, anger, bonds/connections, brokenness, change, communication, conflict, discord, disputes/fighting/opposition, emotions/feelings, enemies, fathers, feasting/food/hunger/nutrition, friends/friendship, golden rule/great commandment, hatred, hospitality, intolerance, judgment/judges/judging, kindness, pacifism/peace/peacemakers, play, presence, relationships, at table

Scripture Connections: Love your enemies (Luke 6:27); Jesus' instruction about turning the other cheek, giving an extra cloak, and going the extra mile (Matthew 5:38-41)

Idea(s) for Application: Use this book to begin a conversation about what having an enemy looks like in childhood. Then offer guidance from your Holy Scriptures, stories in literature, and adult experiences.   

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