Saturday, December 6, 2014

A Picture Book a Day for a Year: Day 231

Picture Book: Stars

Author: Mary Lyn Ray

Illustrator: Marla Frazee

Summary: This picture book is a delightful exploration of stars. Not only does it encourage star-gazing, but you can also draw a star on shiny paper and put it in your pocket because you need to know it’s there, especially on those days when you don’t feel shiny. Stars can be given to friends, added to sticks to make wands, and used for wish-making. Find them in all sorts of places besides the night sky, like a strawberry or pumpkin patch or on a button or calendar. The best thing about stars is that even if you can’t see them, they are still there, in the sky, every night and even every day. 

Hanna’s Comments: One of the common themes here at PBT is encouraging children (and their families) to settle into God’s gift of nature. This book encourages that kind of creative contemplation of God’s natural world. Stars offer light, beauty, and symbolic success. There is often religious history attached to them. The act of star-gazing is a perfect kind of simple joy that can be enjoyed alone with wordless praise or in community while loving each other through the experience. I encourage you and your family of faith to do some stargazing soon.

Publisher & Date of Publication: Beach Lane Books, 2011

Age & Grade Appropriateness: 2 and up, Pre and up

# of Pages: 40

Available in Spanish? Not at present

Formats other than Book: Tablet

PBT Category: Post 2K

PBT Topics this Book Connects with: abundance/bounty, art, attentiveness/observation/seeing, awe, beauty, blessings, comfort, contemplation, creation, creativity/imagination/ingenuity, darkness/evening/night, emotions/feelings, encouragement, the environment/nature, God’s presence, heaven/sky, humanity, moon/space/stars/sun, mystery, prayer, reassurance, reverence, treasure, wishes, wonder, worship

Scripture Connections: And God said,  “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night (Genesis 1:14); when I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place (Psalm 8:3); the heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork (Psalm 19:1); wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, ”Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star (Matthew 2:2)

Idea(s) for Application: Use this picture book for an opportunity to teach and model contemplative prayer. Read this book to a multi-age group within a family of faith and then go outside into the dark to do some silent stargazing and contemplating of God’s wondrous heavenly creation. 

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