Monday, January 26, 2015

A Picture Book a Day for a Year: Day 282


Picture Book: Mrs. Biddlebox

Author: Linda Smith

Illustrator: Marla Frazee

Summary: Mrs. Biddlebox is having a bad day, but she is determined to deal with it in her own very bewitching way. First she gathers it in a big pot, requiring lots of energy. She even twirls it with her broomstick like spaghetti. She reaches up and hooks some sunrays to add to the pot and rolls up the cloudy gray sky like a vast carpet. Finally, she whips it, whisks it, beats and bakes it. Then Mrs. Biddlebox eats her bad day, every last bite of it. When the meal is finished, she opens her door to welcome in a shining night and goes to bed. It is inspiring to note that the author was a sort of Mrs. Biddlebox in her own right who battled cancer for two years before dying of that disease in June of 2000.

Hanna’s Comments: If you are having trouble visualizing the events in this book, then you will be fascinated by the imaginative illustrations. I was also struck with the emotional tone here and the determination of this unusual character. I can see this book creatively used in a variety of settings in which your audience is dealing with a difficult and dark situation that requires energy, stamina, and determination such as a terminal illness, chronic pain, or depression. This picture book could also be used to motivate a religious community who is suffering through a particularly difficult problem such as large debt or a great loss as in a natural disaster or fire. My last idea is to talk about this book as a metaphor for battling evil, whether you see evil personified as the Devil or you see evil in more general, ambiguous terms. Note that the cover of this book as shown above may be different from the one on the book you find.

Publisher & Date of Publication: Harper Collins, 2002

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

# of Pages: 32

Available in Spanish? Not at present

Formats other than Book: None at present

PBT Category: Post 2K

PBT Topics this Book Connects with: action, anger, challenges, change, depression/despair/sadness/sorrow, difficulties, dying, emotions/feelings, endings, enemies, evil, feasting/food/hunger/nutrition, hope, intolerance, labor/work, lamentations, light/morning, perseverance, power, problems/problem solving, rebellion, resisting evil  

Scripture Connections: Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me, your rod and your staff, they comfort me (Psalm 23:4); for I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11); get thee behind me, Satan (Matthew 16:23)

Idea(s) for Application: Consider reading this picture book at a support group for people with situations of clinical depression, chronic pain, or terminal disease.