Tuesday, March 24, 2015

A Picture Book a Day for a Year: Day 339

Picture Book: The Knight and the Dragon 

Author & Illustrator: Tomie de Paola

Summary: What the title two characters lack in ferocity they make up for in determination. They are inexperienced in fighting so they each do some reading. The knight builds his armor and weapons while the dragon practices his tail swishing and mean faces. The knight rehearses his jousting while the dragon improves his fire breathing. Invitations are sent, and a time is set to fight. Their first confrontation ends with them missing each other completely. Their second meeting lands one in a tree and the other in a pond. Meanwhile, the castle librarian, who has been watching their failures, suggests an alternative endeavor for both. She gives the dragon a book for cooking outdoors and the knight an instruction manual on how to build a barbeque. Together they open a new eating venue, K & D Bar-B-Q. The story ends with them serving happy customers.

Hanna’s Comments: This twist on a medieval tale can encourage the children in your family of faith to talk about why human beings do what they do even when it feels unnatural or wrong. These two characters seem to be going against their natures. Fortunately, the librarian is intuitive and nurturing enough to see where their passions and skills might lead to productive results rather than destruction. Not only does this book offer commentary on violence, but it also speaks to humans questioning what is expected and assessing how they can best use their inclinations and gifts for the greater good.  

Original Publisher & Date of Publication: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1980

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: Pre 2K

PBT Topics this Book connects with: abilities, acceptance, action, adaptation/assimilation, aspirations/dreams, authenticity, beginnings/morning, call/calling/vocation, challenges, competition, conflict, conformity, danger, difficulties, disabilities/handicaps/limitations, disputes/fighting/opposition, encouragement, enemies, gifts/talents, kingdom of God/reign of God, labor/work, nurturing, pacifism/peace/peacemakers, power, prejudice, self-discovery, violence, war/war veterans, wisdom, witness

Scripture Connections:  Ask what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God. (Micah 6:8); seek ye first the kingdom of God… (Matthew 6:33); do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind… so that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect (Romans 12:2)

Idea(s) for Application: Read this book to a group of children or youth as a part of a lesson on discerning your talents and desires despite what the world seems to expect.