Friday, September 5, 2014

A Picture Book a Day for a Year: Day 139

Dynamic Duo: Book 1

Picture Book: Planting a Rainbow

Author & Illustrator: Lois Ehlert

Summary: This book begins, “Every year Mom and I plant a rainbow.” At first the reader sees the flower bulbs. Each bulb is labeled with the common plant name and color. For each planting, there is a side view that depicts the underground perspective as well as the above ground. Seeds are ordered from catalogs, but they have to be planted later. Once the bulbs start to sprout in spring, it’s time to go to the garden center for seedlings. The seeds and seedlings are planted with their colorful labels displayed. Once the plants have grown to their rainbow beauty, Ms. Ehlert offers one of her trademarks. She uses varying sizes of pages to depict the rainbow of plants that has bloomed. Each color category offers the labeled plants. The book ends with, “All summer long we pick them and bring them home. (A beautiful bouquet is shown.) And when summer is over, we know we can grow our rainbow again next year.”  

Hanna’s Comments: Although Ms. Ehlert’s illustrations are simplistic, they are vibrant and educational. You’ll see a similar style in tomorrow’s PBT offering, another book from this author/illustrator. Here she explicitly teaches by conveying the general form of each kind of bulb, blossom, leaf, and even seed. I wish I had this book when I was a child because my knowledge of flowers is so limited. Consider using this book in a botany lesson for young children. In a homeschool or private school, use this book to start a conversation about God’s creative diversity or the rainbow as a sign of God’s covenant with us. I've written a children's Sunday school lesson about Diversity that incorporates this book. Let me know if you want to purchase it for just $5. 

Publisher & Date of Publication: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1988

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

# of Pages: 40

Available in Spanish? Yes

Formats other than Book: Tablet, in the video collection: The Curious Garden and more Stories about Nature, Audible

PBT Category: Pre 2K

PBT Topics this Book Connects with: abundance/bounty, awe, beauty, beginnings/morning, blessings, body of Christ, change, covenant/promises/vows, creation, differences, diversity, eggs/seeds, the environment/nature, faith/faithfulness, flowers/leaves/trees, gardening/planting/pruning/sowing, God’s nature, growing up/growth, hope, land/mountains/soil, life, rainbows, time/over time, transformation, treasure, variety

Scripture Connections: This (rainbow) is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature (Genesis 9:12-13)

Idea(s) for Application: With God’s promise of covenant comes assurance that certain scientific laws will always hold true. When we plant a seed, whether literal or metaphorical, we expect and hope for good things to happen while we wait. Tie this idea to the good we do for others and how our faith, hope, and tender care builds relationships that create a more loving faith community and beautiful world. The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss (PBT offering on Day 130) is another book you might want to use for this lesson.

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