Thursday, September 18, 2014

A Picture Book a Day for a Year: Day 152

Terrific Trio: Book 1

Picture Book: Desmond Tutu: Bishop of Peace
Author: Carol Greene
Summary: This children’s biography of Desmond Tutu begins in 1984 when Bishop Tutu received The Nobel Peace Prize. The story moves backwards to his birth in 1931 South Africa, through his struggles with the changes brought on by Apartheid, and then to his achievements as a teacher and minister. As Tutu’s reputation as a peace activist and author grew, the tensions and violence in South Africa increased. Highlighted is his relationship with his minister, friend, and mentor Trevor Huddleston, a white Anglican priest. His international profile became heightened when he served as the Secretary General of the South African Council of Churches and began asking the United States and European countries to stop trading with South Africa in response to Apartheid. Tutu’s negotiations with the South African government to avoid violent clashes and many deaths are mentioned as well as an incident in which he used his own body to protect a white police officer from an angry mob.
Hanna’s Comments: This book begins a terrific trio of books. The first two are about Bishop Tutu; the third he authored. Although this is a picture book, it has significantly more text than typical picture books. Rather than reading this book aloud, you may want to tell Bishop Tutu's, adjusting the level of detail depending on the age of your audience. I encourage you to research more recent events in Bishop Tutu’s work, especially since the end of Apartheid and the beginning of The Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The internet will have video and articles about him. I found one other children’s biography of Desmond Tutu that is more recently published, but it is significantly longer and for older children. It is Desmond Tutu by Samuel Willard Crompton and part of The Modern Peacemakers series of books. 
Publisher & Date of Publication: Children’s Press, 1986
Age & Grade Appropriateness: 8 and up, 3rd and up
# of Pages: 32
Available in Spanish? Not at present
Formats other than Book: None at present, You can easily find info. on Bishop Tutu on the internet or in libraries, including a 2014 feature film, “Children of the Light.”   
PBT Category: Biography
PBT Topics this Book Connects with: abuse/abuse of power, acceptance, action, Africa, anger, brokenness, bullying/martyrs/persecution/oppression, call/calling/vocation, challenges, change, choices/decisions, civil rights, commitment, conflict, cruelty, differences, difficulties, discord, encouragement, enemies, exclusion/inclusion, forgiveness/justifying grace/mercy/redemption, golden rule/great commandment, hatred, heroes, injustice, intercession, intolerance, justice, leadership/servant leadership, non-violence/peaceful resistance, pacifism/peace/peacemakers, power, race relations/racism, resisting evil, segregation, servant hood/service/serving, social justice, victims, violence
Scripture Connections: What does the Lord require of you but to do justice... (Micah 6:8); Blessed are the peacemakers (Matthew 5:9)
Idea(s) for Application: Children need to hear about present day heroes who live out scriptural truths and make the world a better place. Bishop Tutu is a perfect example and subject for a children’s lesson in any faith community that values the work of justice and peace.

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