Sunday, September 28, 2014

A Picture Book a Day for a Year: Day 162

Picture Book: In Our Image: God’s First Creatures

Author: Nancy Sohn Swartz

Illustrator: Melanie Hall

Summary: This picture book offers a new reflection of verse 26 in Genesis One. Because something is missing from this new creation, God says, “Let us create humans in Our own image.” The “Our” in this case refers to the other creatures that God has already made. God encourages these creatures to help design humans by suggesting which of their own traits these new beings should have. The animals offer suggestions that are cleverly similar to their own inclinations. “’Make them lazy,’ yawned the lizard. ‘Keep them busy’, buzzed the bee.” When God declares the dominion of the humans, all the animals run and hide in fright. Then God explains that they should not fear humans for God is making them in God’s own image as well. The goodness and loving kindness that is God’s will belong to the humans. Humans will also have the gift of reason to discern the best decisions for Earth's creatures. Then the humans are made and God sees that it is very good.

Hanna’s Comments: This book, which is endorsed by Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish religious leaders, is a positive view of Genesis 1:26. O how I wish humans lived up to God’s expectations in this re-consideration of our origin. The reading of this PBT God book would likely result in a lively discussion on human responsibility and culpability in the crises that Earth’s environment is experiencing.    

Publisher & Date of Publication: Jewish Lights Publishing, 1998

Age & Grade Appropriateness: 5 and up, K and up

# of Pages: 32

Available in Spanish? Not at present

Formats other than Book: Tablet

PBT Category: God Book, Pre 2K

PBT Topics this Book Connects with: abilities, abundance/bounty, animals, beginnings/morning, care of creation, creation, diversity, Earth/world, the environment/nature, ethics, free will, God’s will, humanity, image of God, legends/myth, power, variety, wisdom

Scripture Connections: The making of humans (Genesis 1:26); who teaches us more than the beasts of the earth? (Job 35:11); the Lord’s goodness is over all that the Lord has made (psalm 145:9)

Idea(s) for Application: Use this book with a youth group that is considering how your faith tradition informs your response to the issues of climate change or treatment of animals.

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