Thursday, February 26, 2015

A Picture Book a Day for a Year: Day 313

Picture Book: What a Family! A Fresh Look at Family Trees

Author & Illustrator: Rachel Isadora

Summary: Ollie navigates his family tree with Grandpa Max’s help. This book offers a unique way to help children understand a family tree and how various attributes are inherited. It represents one particular family and demonstrates how features such as freckles, hair texture, and skin color are passed on through generations and shown across generations. It also explains the difference between a first cousin and a first cousin once removed. To help with understanding Ollie’s family composition, the end papers offer the diagram of his family tree.

Hanna’s Comments: This book can serve as a fun entrance into conversations on the concept of genetic inheritance and blessing. The concept of “inheritance” doesn’t have to be limited to genetics. Consider talking about these words in ways that are connected to our Holy Scriptures. We have parables and stories that mention these concepts, and we have a rich inheritance from our biblical patriarchs and matriarchs. Even those who are unnamed in the scriptures have passed on a tradition of precepts, stories, and wisdom that benefit and orient us thousands of years later. Don’t forget to talk about the most valuable aspects of our inheritance: faith, hope, and the greatest of these… love. These are all a part of our inheritance/blessing. Then consider what the younger members of your family of faith are now gaining from your older generations. Perhaps there are observable attributes or passions that are shared. Certainly there will be beliefs and religious practices. All of these are a part of your community’s rich inheritance.

Publisher & Date of Publication: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 2006

Age & Grade Appropriateness: 4 and up, Pre and up

# of Pages: 32

Available in Spanish? Not at present

Formats other than Book: None at present

PBT Category: Non-fiction, Post 2K

PBT Topics this Book Connects with: abilities, ancestors/patriarchs/matriarchs, babies/children, belonging, blessings, bonds/connections, dependence/interdependence, differences, family, grandparents, heritage, identity/names, individuality/uniqueness, legacies, relationships, variety

Scripture Connections: Parables and stories that mention "blessing" or “inheritance” such as Jacob’s stealing Esau’s blessing (Genesis 26:34 - 27:38) and the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32)

Idea(s) for Application: Read this story to your children in a homeschool or private school lesson when studying the science of inheritance/genetics. Expand this lesson to consider your children’s religious inheritance and blessings as described in my comments above.  

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