Tuesday, September 9, 2014

A Picture Book a Day for a Year: Day 143


Picture Book: Farmer Will Allen and the Growing Table

Author: Jacqueline Briggs Martin

Illustrator: Eric-Shabazz Larkin

Summary: Farmer Will Allen, a former basketball star, “can see what others can’t see.” He sees every kid as a potential farmer and empty urban spaces as farms waiting to happen. His family heritage was a table overflowing with good food, mostly from the garden. After his sports career, Will began a crusade for improving the diets of urban families, believing that everyone had a right to good food. He bought abandoned greenhouses in a city lot in Milwaukee, WI, studied the science of farming, and taught others how to compost and grow food. Will’s “table” began to grow. He expanded his gardens, designed natural farm methods, and named his farm “Growing Power.” Eventually Will began traveling all over the world to inspire and teach others to use their urban spaces and expand their own growing tables. Will’s farm has thousands of visitors each year. He hopes that someday, “city farms are as common as street lights, and every table is covered with good food.”

Hanna’s Comments: Will Allen’s passion is big, as is his desire to teach and change the world’s table. Consider offering some locally grown fruits and vegetables when you read this book to your audience. While preparing, be sure to read the Afterward by Will Allen and the Note from the Author. Good food and opportunities for feasting are delightful aspects of God’s blessings. Be sure to recognize and celebrate them in your faith community.

Original Publisher & Date: Readers to Eaters Books, 2013

Age & Grade Appropriateness: 6 and up, 1st and up

# of Pages: 32

Available in Spanish? Not at Present

Formats other than Book: None at present, There are videos on YouTube of Will Allen talking about urban farming.

PBT Category: Fresh off the Press

PBT Topics this Book Connects with: abundance/bounty, action, aspirations/dreams, attentiveness/observation/seeing, blessings, body of Christ, call/calling/vocation, caring/tending, confidence, creativity/imagination/ingenuity, dependence/interdependence, Earth/world, the environment/nature, feasting/food/hunger/nutrition, gardening/planting/pruning/sowing, generosity/giving/offering/stewardship, gifts/giftedness/talents, God’s will, goodness, harvest, helping, heroes, image of God, jubilee, justice, leadership/servant leadership, land/mountains/soil, manna, mentors/teachers, mission, nurturing, outreach, participation, passion, pleasing God/the Shema, power, prophesy/prophets, purpose, renewal/restoration, satisfaction, servant hood/service/serving, sharing, sports/sports stars, at table, transformation, treasure, unity, variety, vision, wisdom

Scripture Connections: For I was hungry and you gave me food (Matthew 25:35); I came that they may have abundant life (John 10:10); Peter’s Dream (Acts 10)

Idea(s) for Application: In a religious setting, this book would be an excellent addition to a lesson on creative answers to justice inequities. In a home school/private school where you can share your faith, read this book in a science lesson.  Incorporate the botany that is offered in this book along with the concept of God's desire for us to have abundant life.