Tuesday, December 2, 2014

A Picture Book a Day for a Year: Day 227

Picture Book: The Listening Walk

Author: Paul Showers

Illustrator: Aliki

Summary: This picture book is all about a little girl whose ritual it is to go on listening walks with her father and dog. They purposefully don’t talk; instead they listen to the sounds all around them: the sounds of their shoes, other people, machines in use, nearby animals, etc. She encourages the readers to do the same in their own neighborhoods.

Hanna’s Comments: Children, in general, have always struggled with listening skills. Which might explain this book being written so long ago. This problem has gotten dramatically worse, I suspect, because of a drastic increase in noise pollution and access to technological distractions. Sadly, silence is rare in most modern homes during waking hours. The same is true for our religious settings where we should be encouraging children to take time to listen to God and learn how to experience contemplative prayer. Allow this little protagonist to be an inspiration to your children and perhaps yourself!

Publisher & Date of Publication: Harper Collins, 1961

Age & Grade Appropriateness: 4 and up, Pre and up

# of Pages: 32

Available in Spanish? Yes

Formats other than Book: Audio cassette, Amateur videos are on Youtube.com.

PBT Category: Classic

PBT Topics this Book Connects with: abundance/bounty, action, awe, blessings, body of Christ, communication, contemplation, creation, discovery/invention, diversity, the environment/nature, exploration, God’s presence, gratitude/thanksgiving, journeys/migrations/pilgrimages/quests, life, listening, neighbors, neighborhood, noise/sounds/voice, prayer, reverence, variety

Scripture Connections: Be still and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10); let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger (1 James 1:19)

Idea(s) for Application: Read this book to children. Then talk about contemplative prayer before going on a listening walk (prayer walk). Encourage them to be prayerful about what sounds they hear. These prayers could be praise, thanksgiving, or adoration. 

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