Sunday, January 18, 2015

A Picture Book a Day for a Year: Day 274

Picture Book: Beautiful Moon: A Child’s Prayer                          

Author: Tonya Bolden

Illustrator: Eric Valasquez

Summary: One evening in a noisy city, a young boy hurries out of bed because he’s forgotten to say his prayers. As he kneels and prays, he notices a beautiful moon shining in his window. Others in the city are experiencing the rays of the moon, but they are in distress. Then author weaves and connects an aspect of the boy’s prayer to each of the other parties. For instance, a woman tries to sleep on a park bench, and the boy prays for the homeless. A businessman reads a news headline about war and is worried about his daughter, a soldier. The boy prays for war to end. Two adults stare at an empty cupboard. The boy prays for people to have food. This continues as the beautiful moon shines on them all.

Hanna’s Comments: I don’t usually offer what I call “nighttime” books. For my purposes here, they don’t seem as useful, but I had to make an exception for this book. If your listeners are able, help them understand that the moon is a symbol for God in this story, and then expand on that idea. Be sure to talk about the feelings each scenario offers as well as the feelings that are evoked in the “God as moon” metaphor. How might God feel about these situations? What might God be doing in this city to alleviate some of these situations? Also, talk about this boy’s prayer practices and how they likely are a comfort to him.

Publisher & Date of Publication: Abrams, 2014

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

# of Pages: 32

Available in Spanish? Not at present

Formats other than Book: Tablet

PBT Category: God Book, Fresh off the Press

PBT Topics this Book Connects with: anxiety/worry, babies/children, beauty, bonds/connections, darkness/evening/night, difficulties, Earth/world, faith/faithfulness, feasting/food/hunger/nutrition, God’s care/providence, God’s presence, heaven/sky, holiness, homelessness, hope, humility, intercession, light/morning, moon/space/stars/sun, neighborhood, poverty, prayer, reverence, righteousness, worship

Scripture Connections: Love the Lord, your God with all your heart… (Deuteronomy 6:5 and Mark 12:30); when the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears (Psalm 34:17); in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let you requests be known to God (Philippians 4:6)

Idea(s) for Application: Read this book as a nighttime devotional at a family retreat or a camp program for children.