Friday, October 17, 2014

A Picture Book a Day for a Year: Day 181

Picture Book: The Grudge Keeper

Author: Mara Rockliff

Illustrator: Eliza Wheeler

Summary: In Bonnyripple no one ever kept a grudge because they gave all their grudges (written on bits of paper) to the Grudge Keeper, Cornelius, who tucked them away in his cottage for safekeeping. The grudges piled up, but the system seemed to be working until a severe wind storm came. All were irritated by this inconvenience, new grudges emerged, and together they marched their new grudges up to the Grudge Keeper’s cottage. They were astonished to find their former grudges had been blown into a pile. While arguing over the grudges again, they heard Cornelius moaning from underneath the pile. As they hurried to save him, grudges were read, apologies were made, and the grudges were tossed away. When Cornelius staggered to his feet, he saw that all the grudges were gone. Immediately, another grudge-worthy event occurred, but all was forgiven, even a romance blossomed. No one ever kept a grudge again, not even The Grudge Keeper who had a lot more room in his home for entertaining his now more pleasant friends.

Hanna’s Comments: This book is clever in plot and verbal gymnastics, and it comically demonstrates the way grudges can limit relationships, even if those grudges are kept hidden away. The power of forgiveness is the subtle theme here. The importance of and difficulty achieving forgiveness is a valuable lesson to explore with children and adults. This book is so clever that it would work for both types of audiences.

Publisher & Date of Publication: Peachtree Publisher, 2014

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

# of Pages: 32

Available in Spanish? Not at present

Formats other than Book: None at present

PBT Category: Fresh Off the Press

PBT Topics this Book Connects with: acceptance, brokenness, collections, communication, conflict, discord, disputes/fighting/opposition, emotions, feelings, forgiveness/mercy/redemption, friends/friendship, grace, greed/selfishness, humility, intolerance, judgment/judges/judging, mistakes, pacifism/peace/peacemakers, pride, relationships, tolerance

Scripture Connections: Forgive seventy times seven (Matthew 8:21-22); when you pray, forgive if you have anything against anyone (Mark 11:25); the Jesus Prayer (based on Luke 18: 13 & 38); be kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving of one another (Ephesians 4:32)

Idea(s) for Application: One aspect of forgiveness is humbly realizing that we are all imperfect sinners. Consider reading this book and then teaching The Jesus Prayer to your participants: “Lord Jesus Christ, son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” This prayer has been ritually recited since the 5th century. 

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