Sunday, December 14, 2014

A Picture Book a Day for a Year: Day 239

Picture Book: Winter Moon Song

Author: Martha Brooks

Illustrator: Leticia Ruifernandez

Summary: An author’s note explains that this story is based on a Lakota elder’s version of a Moon Rabbit creation myth. Many cultures have a comparable myth. Here a young rabbit asks for the story that explains the rabbit image on the moon. He’s been practicing for the choir concert featuring the Winter Moon Song. His mother tells him of the Great Mother Creator Rabbit who came down to Earth. Cold and hungry, she built a fire and placed a stewpot of snow on top. Another rabbit tried to sacrifice himself for her, but she flung him to the moon instead. Later at the concert, rabbit is disappointed that the performance didn’t seem magical. As they travel home, the young rabbit is moved by the moon and begins singing the song with encouragement from the elder rabbit. His peers join in and together their collective song, in praise to the Great Mother Creator Rabbit, reminds them that they are part of one great rabbit family.    

Hanna’s Comments: One of the great human joys this time of year is singing, whether at a choir concert or in the car while stuck in traffic. What is it about singing that feeds our souls, no matter our culture or religion? I believe it has to do with a call to inner joy, human connection, and true worship. This book celebrates the longing in all of us, whether we can carry a tune or not, to beautifully sing our praise to the Holy and Mysterious One. The metaphorical context in this book may be child-like, but the message I read is very mature. Spontaneous, exultant singing gives pleasure and connects us to God and to one another. So make a joyful noise!

Publisher & Date of Publication: Groundwood Books, 2014

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

# of Pages: 40

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: adoration, awe, bonds/connections, choir/music/singing/songs, community, darkness/evening/night, Earth/world, gratitude/thanksgiving, heaven/sky, legends/myths, moon/space/stars/sun, mothers, mystery, response to God, reverence, snow, unity, wonder, worship

Scripture Connections: Oh come let us sing to the Lord (Psalm 95:1); make a joyful noise to the Lord (Psalm 98:4 & 100:1);

Idea(s) for Application: Too often children in faith communities are left to just figure out what worship is all about. Instead, consider it an honor to help your children understand that worship is a gift from God, one that can feed them the rest of their lives. This picture book offers a meaningful fable to help children understand the beauty and privilege of this gift of worship.

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