Monday, December 29, 2014

A Picture Book a Day for a Year: Day 254

Picture Book: Amos & Boris

Author & Illustrator: William Steig

Summary: The story begins with Amos, a mouse who loves the sea, deciding to build a boat and set sail. Amos gets so caught up in the beauty of the sea and sky, that he rolls into the ocean. His boat drifts away, and he is left to tread water. Eventually, he is rescued by Boris, a whale and fellow mammal, though a very different sort, who considers it a privilege to take Amos home and learn about such a small creature. Along the way, the two become devoted friends with little in common but much admiration between them. When they say goodbye, Amos offers future help to his friend, but Boris wonders how his little friend could ever help such a big whale. Many years later, a hurricane strands Boris on Amos’ shore. Immediately they recognize each other, and Boris begs his little friend for help. Amos recruits two elephant friends who push Boris so that he rolls into the sea. Once again, the pair have to say goodbye, knowing they may never meet again but also knowing they will never forget each other.

Hanna’s Comments: There is a lot of potential here for meaningful conversations about high quality friendships, particularly those that are long-term and involve parties that are very different. This story also emphasizes the honor of responding to a friend in need. In the Christian tradition, we talk about the body of Christ as being comprised of valuable individuals with different strengths and needs. This book would help explore that concept or it could be used when teaching about Paul’s relationships with his traveling companions.

Publisher & Date of Publication: Farrar, Straus, & Giroux, 1971

Age & Grade Appropriateness: 5 and up, K and up

# of Pages: 28

Available in Spanish? Yes

Formats other than Book: Tablet, There is an amateur video on

PBT Category: Classic

PBT Topics this Book Connects with: beach/ocean/sea/shore, body of Christ, bonds/connections, cooperation, covenant/promises/vows, differences, friends/friendship, helping, journeys/migrations/pilgrimages/quests, land/mountains/soil, partners/teamwork, preparation, rescue, saving/savior

Scripture Connections: Paul’s friendships and travels with Barnabus, Silas, Timothy, Aquila, or Priscilla in the book of Acts; the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12)

Idea(s) for Application: Use this book with listeners of all ages to illustrate the concept of the body of Christ or important long-term friendships found in our Holy Scriptures. 

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