Wednesday, August 27, 2014

A Picture Book a Day for a Year: Day 130


Picture Book: The Carrot Seed

Author: Ruth Krauss

Illustrator: Crockett Johnson

Summary: This classic has a simple story but a powerful message about a lone boy’s faith in a carrot seed which he has planted and continues to nurture despite his family members saying repeatedly, “It won’t come up.” Eventually the greens pop above the soil’s surface. Then the boy pulls a huge carrot out of the ground and loads it onto a wheel barrow. I wonder if he shared the carrot with his family.

Hanna’s Comments: This book was published 70 years ago, but its simple message of faith and nurturing that which only you believe in is universal and timeless. I think it should be in every toddler and preschooler’s library. Certainly it should be in your faith community’s nursery, preschool rooms, and community-wide library. Don't limit it's audience to just little ones. With elementary children and adults talk about naysayers and critics. Discuss the concept of nurturing your faith as the boy nurtured his carrot seed. Be sure to point out that the carrot seed might have died had the boy not been so faithful to it. Ask them, “What are some of the ways we “water” and “weed” our faith gardens?” Think this is too abstract? Offer some personal explanation of how you do this and what your faith garden looks like. I bet you’ll be surprised at how they will catch on.

Publisher & Date of Publication: Harper & Row, 1945

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

# of Pages: 32

Available in Spanish? Yes

Formats other than Book: There are several videos to choose from including “Uncle Wally” Amos reading this book as a part of the Read it Loud library program on Youtube.com, Audio cassette

PBT Category: Classic

PBT Topics this Book Connects with: beginnings/morning, care of creation, doubt, eggs/seeds, faith/faithfulness, family, gardening/planting/pruning/sowing, harvest, land/mountains/soil, patience, perseverance, resisting evil, transformation, water

Scripture Connections: Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. (Matthew 13:8); If you have faith the size of a mustard seed (Matthew 17:20) 

Idea(s) for Application: Because the concept of faith is so abstract, children (and sometimes adults) have difficulty understanding it. This little book offers a delightfully simple, but profound explanation of faith that is easy to relate to. Read this book in a Sunday school or other small group context and explore the concept of faith and how to "tend" and "nurture" it.