Sunday, March 8, 2015

A Picture Book a Day for a Year: Day 323

Picture Book: And Away We Go

Author & Illustrator: Migy 

Summary:  Mr. Fox receives the hot air balloon he ordered so that he can fly to the moon. Elephant wants to come and suggests they pick-up pizza before leaving. Mr. Fox says, “Sure you can.” Thus begins a series of requests from various animals to ride in the balloon’s small basket up to the moon. Riders are many and often suggest items they should bring for their trip. When asked if they can join the fun, Mr. Fox often replies, “The more the merrier.” Each time a guest gets in, Mr. Fox yells, “Away we go!” Giraffe wants to pick up some milkshakes. Squirrel wants a 4-piece band. A group of rabbits bring some games. The alarmingly tight arrangement of animals and items hysterically defies the odds of gravity, but all seem to be having a grand time oblivious to the fraying ropes. Then a little bird asks to join the fun. The bird is the proverbial straw that snapped the balloon’s ropes. Thanks to more gravity-defying finagling, all animals land on the ground intact. “Away it goes!” Mr. Fox exclaims as his balloon soars to the moon. He is resigned to go to the moon another time. “It’s much more fun to be here with my friends.”

Hanna’s Comments: Be sure to read this book in a way that invites your audience to yell, “And Away We Go!” each time with Mr. Fox. My summary above can’t do justice to the fun of this story and these hilarious illustrations. The children will love the pictures so be sure to have multiple books if you have a big group. Spend time discussing the spiritual practice of hospitality that Mr. Fox demonstrates so well and how different the trip might have been had he gone alone or limited his guests. Yes, he might have arrived on the moon like he planned, but there would not have been near as much fun! Talk about the importance of relationships versus results or efficiency. I recently heard efficiency described as an unhealthy obsession. This book speaks to the joy of the journey. Also, note how diverse the community of travelers is here. You might want your young audience to talk about trips they have been on or celebrations they have been to that have had this kind of hospitable spirit. Those are the best memories. Talk about why this is true. Tie in scripture stories that involve feasts, celebrations or journeys that invoke a spirit of love and hospitality.

Original Publisher & Date of Publication: Henry Holt & Co., 2014

Age & Grade Appropriateness: 2 and up, Toddler and up

# of Pages: 40

Available in Spanish?  Not at present

Formats other than Book: Tablet

PBT Category: Fresh off the Press

PBT Topics this Book connects with:  acceptance, adaptation/assimilation, adventure, celebration/party, chaos/disorder, communion/Eucharist, community, differences, diversity, feasting/food/hunger/nutrition, gladness/happiness, hospitality, journeys/migrations/pilgrimages/quests, joy, kingdom of God/reign of God, moon/space/stars/sun, openness, sharing, tolerance, travel

Scripture Connections: Scriptures about feasts, celebrations or journeys that involve hospitality such as the Passover, the Wedding at Canaan, the Prodigal Son, Paul’s travels, and the practice of Holy Communion in the early Christian church.  


Idea(s) for Application: Use this book to supplement a lesson for children on the spiritual practice of hospitality or feasting, celebrations or journeys in our Holy Scriptures.