Friday, January 23, 2015

A Picture Book a Day for a Year: Day 279

Dynamic Duo: Book 1

Picture Book: The Missing Piece

Author & Illustrator: Shel Silverstein

Summary: This story begins, “It was missing a piece. And it was not happy. So it set off in search of its missing piece.” Thus begins a classic, metaphorical tale that has a simply-drawn protagonist searching for that which will make it complete. Along the way, it sings a searching song and delights in encounters such as those with flowers and butterflies. It does meet some pieces. One piece might fit but refuses, some pieces humorously don’t fit, and one piece that fits perfectly. But life changes when it is complete. There is no time for flowers and butterflies. And it can’t sing anymore. Eventually, it leaves the piece behind and continues the journey and the singing.

Hanna’s Comments: Because the song is important to the story, you might want to plan a little tune to sing with the lyrics. Simple is fine. The illustrations are crucial to enjoying this book. Keep this in mind when considering how to share it. More than one book might be needed if you have a large group or use one of the video versions. Don’t let the number of pages mislead you. It’s a fast read with few words per page. What does it mean? That’s the beauty of this book. Is it about… finding the perfect mate? Our search for God? Obsessions? Co-dependence? The joy of the journey? Have fun talking about all these possibilities and more. This is book one in a PBT Dynamic Duo. Tomorrow’s offering is Silverstein’s sequel to the book featured today. In it you’ll experience the perspective of a piece.

Publisher & Date of Publication: Harper Collins, 1976

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

# of Pages: 112

Available in Spanish? Yes

Formats other than Book: Video versions are on

PBT Category: Classic

PBT Topics this Book Connects with: acceptance, addiction, adventure, belonging, challenges, conformity, dependence/interdependence, disabilities/handicaps/limitations, exploration, freedom, grace, growing up/growth, insecurity, journeys/migrations/pilgrimages/quests, loneliness, perseverance, problems/problem solving, reflection, regret/repentance, relationships, satisfaction, searching, self-acceptance/self-image/self-esteem, self-discovery,  travel, waiting, wisdom, wishes

Scripture Connections: Seek first the kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33); do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind (Romans 12:2)

Idea(s) for Application: There are many books that I offer on the PBT blog that would work well in a therapy, counseling, or spiritual direction situation. When a therapist, counselor, or spiritual director offers a book to be read and considered, it is called bibliotherapy. This book offers all sorts of possibilities for such a context.  

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