Friday, August 29, 2014

A Picture Book a Day for a Year: Day 132

Picture Book: But Not the Hippopotamus

Author & Illustrator: Sandra Boynton

Summary: Boynton is famous for her whimsical animal characters, but they are not so nice in this book. “A dog and a frog do a dance in the bog. But not the hippopotamus.” Sadly the hippopotamus is left out of all sorts of fun activities. The story and illustrations never reveal why. Finally, the animals decide to “hurry out for a jog” and then think to come back for … “Yes, the hippopotamus!”

Hanna’s Comments: This may be a silly, simple book, but it packs a punch of relevant meaning. Children struggle with in-group vs. out-group issues in their homes, schools, and religious communities. Talk with your children about the heartaches (and joys) of cliques and informal groups with this fun book. In a comical context, your kids may be more willing to honestly confess to this common human behavior and allow you to discuss how exclusivity and inclusivity fit into your faith values. Don’t hesitate to model a little confessing on your own. Sometimes your confessions are what children are most likely to find meaningful and remember.

Publisher & Date of Publication: Little Simon Books, 1982

Age & Grade Appropriateness: 2 and up, Toddler and up

# of Pages: 14

Available in Spanish? Not at Present

Formats other than Book: Tablet

PBT Category: Pre 2k

PBT Topics this Book Connects with: acceptance, belonging, body of Christ, disappointment, exclusion/inclusion, exile/separation, friends/friendship, God’s will, golden rule/great commandment, hospitality, injustice, integration, loneliness, neglect, outsiders, participation, pleasing God/the Shema, prejudice, segregation, sin, social justice

Scripture Connections: There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female. All are one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28)

Idea(s) for Application: Jesus ministered to a great number of outsiders (women, lepers, Gentiles, tax collectors, Samaritans…). Use this book when discussing one of these stories or Jesus’ tendency to include.  

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