Saturday, November 1, 2014

A Picture Book a Day for a Year: Day 196


Picture Book: Each Kindness               

Author: Jacqueline Woodson

Illustrator: E.B. Lewis

Summary: A new girl, Maya, enters school, but Chloe and her friends won’t play with her because of the way she’s dressed. Eventually Maya no longer comes to school, then she moves away, but she is remembered by Chloe when their teacher gives a lesson on how each kindness that is bestowed makes the world better. The teacher uses a bowl of water and stones to illustrate this concept, focusing on the water ripples that spread. Chloe reflects on this idea and realizes her lost opportunities for kindness toward Maya and for friendship.

Hanna’s Comments: Consider this book a hint of things to come. Within the pages of this book about shunning and cruelty is a subtle anti-bullying message. You might not recognize it as bullying since there is no physical aggression or obvious taunting, but girls often bully in different ways than boys. Bullying in the manner of boys gets the most media attention. Girls bully with deliberate and calculated alienation and subtle insults. That’s what happens in this story and too often in communities of faith, both at places of worship and in religious schools, where breaking down the barriers of cliques can be especially hard. This is true despite scriptural exhortations to be hospitable. If your faith community struggles with this issue, consider focusing on an anti-bullying message and how it is in conflict with your faith values. The week of November 16 is Anti-bullying month here in the USA. Look for a focus on that issue in the PBT offerings the week before (November 9/Day 204 through November 15/Day 210). Meanwhile, you can check out www.bullyingawarenessweek.org .

Publisher & Date of Publication: Penguin, 2012

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

# of Pages: 32

Available in Spanish? Not at present

Formats other than Book: Audio book

PBT Category: Award, Post 2K

PBT Topics this Book Connects with: aliens/immigrants/refugees/strangers, brokenness, choices/decisions, clothes/shoes, communication, community, confession, conformity, consequences/punishment, cruelty, differences, emotions/feelings, evangelism, exile/separation/walls, friends/friendship, golden rule/great commandment, greed/selfishness, guilt, hospitality, injustice, mistakes, new school, outsiders, peer pressure, poverty, power, prejudice, regret/repentance, relationships, sin, victims

Scripture Connections: Let the words of my mouth... be acceptable to Your heart (Psalm 19:14); death and life are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:22); what comes out of the mouth defiles a person (Matthew 15:10)

Idea(s) for Application: Teach the children in your faith community the prayer usually attributed to King David (Psalm 19:14) and talk about how words can welcome, hurt, and heal in powerful ways.