Friday, February 20, 2015

A Picture Book a Day for a Year: Day 307

Picture Book: Wall

Author & Illustrator: Tom Clohosy Cole

Summary: This is a dark but beautiful story about the Berlin Wall. When the wall goes up, the narrator’s father is in West Berlin and therefore separated from his family. The mother consoles her son by telling him that his father’s life is likely better than theirs. The boy witnesses others’ attempts to cross over. Some are clever, lucky, and successful. Others who try to cross are caught and shot. The boy is determined to risk it so he begins digging a tunnel near the wall in a field. On the night when they try to cross over, they are confronted by a guard who becomes sympathetic after seeing the father’s photo. He allows them to continue. They arrive in West Berlin and find the father just as he is about to enter a tunnel he has been digging to reach them.

Hanna’s Comments: This book was written in response to the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and is based on true stories of successful crossings. You may want to gather some historical information on the wall to give this book more context before reading it. There are not many words here so make sure your audience can easily see the compelling illustrations. You may have to explain them, and more than one copy of the book may be required. When discussing the book, focus on the love between the father and his family. Emphasize that no circumstances, would have been able to diminish the love that this family had for one another. Talk about how they were willing and compelled to work hard and risk everything to be together again.

Publisher & Date of Publication: Templar Books, 2014

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

# of Pages: 32

Available in Spanish? Not at present

Formats other than Book: None at present

PBT Category: Fresh off the Press, Non-fiction

PBT Topics this Book Connects with: abuse/abuse of power, action, belonging, bonds/connections, bravery/courage, brokenness, bullying/martyrs/persecution/oppression, choices/decisions, commitment, danger, difficulties, Europe, evil, exclusion/inclusion, exile/separation/walls, family, fathers, fear, freedom, journeys/migrations/pilgrimages/quests, labor/work, land/mountains/soil, love, obstacles, perseverance, risking

Scripture Connections: Nothing can separate us from the love of God which is ours through Christ Jesus (Romans 8:39)

Idea(s) for Application: Read this book to a group of children, youth, or adults when talking about love, the kind of love that we have in our families which is inspired by God’s love for us. Despite difficult circumstances and long separations, love often strengthens and makes us even more determined to be together.  

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