Monday, September 1, 2014

A Picture Book a Day for a Year: Day 135

Picture Book: Fortunately

Author & Illustrator: Remy Charlip

Summary: This comical book begins: “Fortunately, one day Ned got a letter that said ‘Please Come to a Surprise Party.’ But unfortunately, the party was in Florida and he was in New York. Fortunately, a friend loaned him an airplane. Unfortunately, the motor exploded.” You see the pattern. Ned’s narrow escapes continue until he seems to make it to the party that was his initial destination. It’s a good thing! It was his very own surprise birthday party.

Hanna’s Comments: While reading this book, I especially like to point out Ned’s fluctuating facial expressions as each situation changes. Having your audience mimic these facial expressions during the reading would be fun. Though your pace will have to slow because of the all the giggling. For me, this plot ends in a way that is too contrived, but the ridiculous nature of the plot and the fun you can have on Ned’s wacky journey make up for the ending. Afterwards, consider having the listeners create a similar story either orally or through dramatic play. Messages of God’s providence and prevenient grace are in the story no matter how it’s presented. If you want a more modern book with a similar set-up involving animated animals in the wild, check out Good News Bad News by Jeff Mack or It's Tough to Lose Your Balloon by Jarrett J. Krosoczka. Younger children would better understand these books. 

Publisher & Date of Publication: Simon & Schuster, 1964

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

# of Pages: 48

Available in Spanish? Not at present

Formats other than Book: Amateur videos on

PBT Category: Classic

PBT Topics this Book Connects with: adaptation/assimilation, blessings, challenges, change, danger, difficulties, God’s care/providence, grace, journeys/pilgrimages/migrations/quests, lost, manna, perseverance, prevenient grace, problems/problem solving, safety, travel

Scripture Connections: All things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28)

Idea(s) for Application: This format of alternating good and bad fortunes could be used for telling the story of Moses’ birth, the Exodus, and the Israelites’ wanderings in wilderness. Here’s a start: Fortunately, Moses was born a healthy baby boy in Egypt. Unfortunately, his mother, an Israelite, was a slave. Fortunately, the Israelites believed in a God who would bless them. Unfortunately, the Pharaoh, who feared the Israelites, had all baby boys killed. Fortunately, Moses’ mother…. The same would be true of Joseph’s story in Genesis and even Jesus’ story. 

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