Monday, August 25, 2014

A Picture Book a Day for a Year: Day 128

Picture Book: Because Nothing Looks Like God

Authors: Lawrence & Karen Kushner

Illustrator: Dawn W. Majewski

Summary: In this well-considered picture book, 3 very general questions about God are explored via diverse characters, both human and non-human. The first is “Where is God?” Answers include, “God is in the way people come together” or “In worms turning leaves into earth. God is everywhere if we look.” Next question: “What does God look like? God looks like nothing. And nothing looks like God. But there are many things you cannot see and still we are sure they are there.“ The last question is “How does God make things happen?” After this question, readers are inspired to look at various contexts (family, school, etc.) and notice how people help each other. Then they are encouraged to look in the mirror and consider how they might help someone today. The three questions in this book have been used to create 3 separate board books for younger children. 

Hanna’s Comments: I’m enthusiastic about this picture book because it says, “God is with us every day, in every way.” In the back is a section for parents and teachers explaining why this book is not comprised of dogmatic answers. Instead, the authors state that their purpose is to help children “lay down the foundation of what will become a mature adult spiritual world-view.” Then they suggest that parents continue the conversations that begin in this book. When conversations like these begin at home when children are young, those foundations become well-grounded and authentic to the child’s experience. 

Note: The 3 questions in this book have been used to create 3 separate board books for younger children. They could be inspiration for a more focused conversation with elementary-aged children, just don't show those older kids a board book. Here’s an example:  

Publisher & Date of Publication: Jewish Lights Publishing, 2000

Age & Grade Appropriateness: 4 and up, Pre and up        

# of Pages: 32

Available in Spanish? No

Formats other than Book: Tablet, There are board books for younger children that feature just one of these questions. The titles are: What Does God Look Like, Where is God? and How Does God Make Things Happen?

PBT Category: God Book, Post 2K

PBT Topics this Book Connects with: abundance/bounty, action, adoration, attentiveness/observation/seeing, authenticity, awe, beauty, blessings, body of Christ, bonds/connections, caring/tending, care of creation, community, creation, the environment/nature, family, friends/friendship, God’s nature, goodness, helping, humanity, intercession, kindness, love, pleasing God/the Shema, questioning/questions, relationships, righteousness, servant hood/service/serving, vision, wonder

Scripture Connections: I have no good apart from You (Psalm 16:2b); the heavens declare the glory of God (Psalm 19:1); God is love (1 John 4:8)

Idea(s) for Application: I plan to use this book in a class for parents of preschoolers that I will be teaching at my church in the fall. These parents are longing for more instruction on how to better spiritually equip their children.  

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