Friday, March 6, 2015

A Picture Book a Day for a Year: Day 321

Picture Book: Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?

Author & Illustrator: Dr. Seuss

Summary: “When you think things are bad, when you feel sour and blue, when you start to get mad, you should do what I do! Just tell yourself, Ducky, you’re really quite lucky.” Thus begins a song sung by an old man that the young narrator meets in the Desert of Drize. The old man goes on to tell the boy of the places and people he should be glad he is not, delightfully describing miserable situations that only Dr. Seuss could dream up, such as the man who has to paint flag poles or the creature whose tail is in knots. Then there are those who mow the fast-growing grass, the T-crosser and I-dotter, and the folks who live near the perilous pants-eating plants! The young man is as lucky, as lucky can be.

Hanna’s Comments: Optimism, Affirmation, Gratitude, and Hope. These are all spiritual orientations that connect with this book. Positive psychology tells us that these attributes also build our capacity for resilience which is what we all want for ourselves and our children when life throws us a whammy. Realizing that circumstances could always be worse is comforting and so is noticing how others seem to be suffering more. Perhaps this is selfish. It is definitely human. Dr. Seuss allows us to accept this aspect of our humanity and have fun with it. Do discuss with your audience how it is usually best to keep these thoughts to ourselves. No one likes to hear it when they are on the worse end of a comparison either. Those who are in the midst of their pain don’t want to hear how lucky they are, but eventually a healthy person will realize that there is grace in all circumstances and a kind of healing comes eventually.   

Publisher & Date of Publication: Random House, 1973

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

# of Pages: 64

Available in Spanish? Not at present

Formats other than Book: Tablet, Audio, A video is available on Random House has created a website full of Dr. Seuss activities and information. Here’s the link:

PBT Category: Classic

PBT Topics this Book Connects with: acceptance, affirmation, blessings, difficulties, disappointment, encouragement, grace, gratitude/thanksgiving, hope, humanity, perspective, reassurance, tragedy, wisdom

Scripture Connections: Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. (Proverbs 4:23); for those who love God, all things work together for good (Romans 8:28); I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13); give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

Idea(s) for Application: Read this book when talking about how there is grace in every situation and some kind of healing comes. Realizing this can help us deal with difficult circumstances and rely on God. 

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