Tuesday, November 4, 2014

A Picture Book a Day for a Year: Day 199

Picture Book: Bear and Bird

Author: James Skofield

Illustrator: Jennifer Thermes

Summary: Bear finds young Bird on the ground after Bird’s flying mishap. Their relationship blossoms despite their differences in age, species, and lifestyle. They become constant companions, helping each other search for food and stay safe. However, during the winters when Bird must migrate and Bear must hibernate, they separate and look forward to their reunion. One spring, Bear doesn’t reappear, but his grandchild does. The grandchild explains that Bear has probably died. Fortunately, stories of Bird are well-known among Bear’s family and a new relationship begins.

Hanna’s Comments: This is a story of cross-generational love and family legacies. Despite significant differences, this relationship lasts until Bear’s death. Then the effects of the relationship continue for younger generations. I suspect you can think of some relationships in your faith community that have some connections with this story. Note: There is another children’s picture book with the same name.

Publisher & Date of Publication: Sleeping Bear Press, 2014

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

# of Pages: 40

Available in Spanish? Not at present

Formats other than Book: Tablet

PBT Category: Fresh Off the Press

PBT Topics this Book Connects with: acceptance, adaptation/assimilation, affection, aging, bonds/connections, change, chosen, commitment, companionship, cooperation, death/loss/grief, dependence/interdependence, differences, exile/separation/walls, found, friends/friendship, grandparents, helping, heritage, kindness, legacies, memories/remembering/ritual/tradition, nurturing, openness, presence, protecting/protection, safety, time/timing/over time

Scripture Connections: Elijah and Elisha (1 Kings 19:19 - 2 Kings 2:18)

Idea(s) for Application: I admit connecting Elijah’s and Elisha’s relationship with this book may be viewed as a stretch. When I read it, I was struck with the older Bear's empowering and then befriending Bird. Once Bear dies, his grandchild seems to take up the “mantle” of friendship with Bird. Rather than focusing on the violence or prophetic nature of the OT relationship, with children focus instead on the idea of taking up a mantle. To me, this concept means to take on a new responsibility or a new role that is given to you from a higher authority.

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