Wednesday, January 28, 2015

A Picture Book a Day for a Year: Day 284

Picture Book: Mrs. Toggle’s Zipper

Author: Robin Pulver

Illustrator: R.W. Alley

Summary: Poor Mrs. Toggle! The zipper of her puffy winter coat is stuck, and it seems she is destined to wear it all day as she teaches her young students. Also, the thingamajig, as she calls it (the pull-tab from the zipper), is missing. Her students pull with all their collective might, but the coat won’t go past her nose and her students end up in a heap on the floor. The class and Mrs. Toggle get help from the school’s nurse and principal. Each one adds their nonsensical efforts, and together they again attempt to remove the coat, but the result is the same. Finally they ask the janitor, who knows the name of the thingamajig and just what to do. Thankfully, Mrs. Toggle is released. She and her students gladly return to her classroom, and the janitor goes to find a dictionary to look up “thingamajig.”

Hanna’s Comments: There are several subtle jokes in this story that you might want to share with your audience. Note the names of the characters. Also, if Mrs. Toggle’s coat used “toggles” as fasteners instead of a zipper, she would not have a problem. There are three aspects of this story that make it a great PBT book. First, the problem is solved in community, with everyone lending a hand. Secondly, the care and concern for Mrs. Toggle is evident. Thirdly, it is the humble janitor who has the smarts here. He is the hero and his practical problem-solving skills are the reason.

Publisher & Date of Original Publication: Simon & Schuster, 1990

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

# of Pages: 32

Available in Spanish? Not at present

Formats other than Book: There are amateur videos on

PBT Category: Pre 2K

PBT Topics this Book Connects with: abilities, action, babies/children, body of Christ, brokenness, caring/tending, challenges, clothes/shoes, comfort, community, cooperation, dependence/interdependence, difficulties, education/learning/school, gifts/talents, helping, heroes, humility, mentors/teachers, problems/problem solving, servant/service/servant leadership, unity, wisdom

Scripture Connections: Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone (1 Corinthians 12:4-6)

Idea(s) for Application: Consider reading this book when you want to talk to children in your faith community about God’s variety of gifts and how God wants us to respect and value all of those gifts and use them together to solve problems. Be sure to emphasize our interdependence on one another.

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