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 those people are in distress. Then the author weaves and directs an aspect of the boy’s prayer to each of the other parties. A woman tries to sleep on a park bench; the boy prays for those who are homeless. A businessman reads a news headline about war and is worried for his soldier daughter; 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 since my primary purpose at PBT is to provide ideas for ministry which usually occurs in daylight hours. I had to make an exception for this book! Help even your youngest listeners understand that the moon is a symbol for God in this story. Then expand on that idea. Talk about the feelings each scenario evokes. Ask... How might God feel about these situations? What might God be doing in this city to alleviate some of this suffering? Also, talk about this boy’s prayer practices and how they are a comfort to him and hopefully a lifelong practice. Mention that he was not "in trouble" early in the story for forgetting to pray. Invite your children (or adults) to share their experiences with prayer practices. If you get silence, there's your opportunity to instruct on the power of silent prayer. Offer a simple prayer ritual and then build on this instruction in future experiences. Throughout share the importance of intercessory prayer (prayer for others) in your own spiritual journey. 

Though not a PBT God Book, there is another extraordinary book that shares much with the book above. Max and the Tag-Along Moon by Floyd Cooper is a secular book about a grandfather who lovingly reassures his grandson "that ol' moon will always shine for you... on and on." Again, the moon is a beautiful metaphor for God who is always present. The grandson tests this idea and finds it to be true.

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 church family retreat or a camp program for children. OR Use this book as a tool to instruct children in the importance and comforting spiritual practice of intercessory prayer. 

No comments:

Post a Comment