Saturday, December 20, 2014

A Picture Book a Day for a Year: Day 245

Dynamic Duo: Book 2

Picture Book: Say Hello

Authors & Illustrators: Jack Foreman & Michael Foreman

Summary: This story in verse begins with a dog who is apparently feeling lonely. Then he spies a group of children playing and easily joins the fun. Meanwhile, a shy child off to the side asks, “Why am I the only one? (the only one who is left out).” The other children don’t seem to notice him. The dog does though and offers him a ball with an unspoken message to, ”Come join the fun. No need to be the lonely one.” All the other children then notice. Together they shout one simple word, “Hello!” and welcome him to play.

Hanna’s Comments: This simple, but poignant picture book offers a direct challenge to readers, particularly children. When you are caught up in your fun activities, take time to notice who is feeling left out. Then be more welcoming to them. I know some adults who would benefit from this reminder. There are times, you could argue, when the behavior of shy people, like the child in the story, encourages being excluded. You could argue that it’s their own fault. However, I believe the children of God are called to pay attention and be especially welcoming to the outsiders, the on-lookers, the shy ones, the least. Help the children in your faith community be more sensitive and welcoming to those who might be shy or feel left out. Overtly teach them skills such as how to carry a conversation by asking questions and searching for common interests. Talk about the difference between being encouraging and pushy. Remind them to respect those who don’t want to participate. Like yesterday’s PBT Dynamic Duo entry book with the same title, this book includes the word “hello” in various languages. You’ll find these on the back end pages, not in the narrative.

Publisher & Date of Publication: Candlewick, 2008

Age & Grade Appropriateness: 3 and up, Pre and up

# of Pages: 40

Available in Spanish? Not at present

Formats other than Book: None at present

PBT Category: Post 2K

PBT Topics this Book Connects with: acceptance, aliens/immigrants/refugees/strangers, animals, attentiveness/observation/seeing, belonging, chosen, communication, community, exclusion/inclusion, golden rule, hiding/isolation, hospitality, insecurity, loneliness, outsiders, participation, perspective, relationships, risking, shyness, waiting

Scripture Connections: You shall treat the stranger as the native among you and you shall love him as yourself (Leviticus 19:34); When did we see you a stranger and welcome you… Just as you did it to one of the least of these who are my family, you did it to me. (Matthew 25:35-40)

Idea(s) for Application: Use this book in a lesson for children on hospitality. See details in my comments above.