Sunday, April 12, 2015

A Picture Book a Day for a Year: Day 358

Picture Book: A Single Pearl

Author: Donna Jo Napoli          

Illustrator: Jim LaMarche

Summary: From the point of view of a grain of sand transformed into a highly valued pearl, this story is a hypothetical account of the discovery of the first pearl. The natural process of pearl-making in an oyster is part of the narrative. What once had been an oyster’s irritation caused by the simple grain of sand becomes an object of luminescence and beauty, a treasure to be found. After the pearl is extracted by a diver, it is taken and sold to a Persian prince for a high price. The prince gives it to his wife who later passes it on to her daughter. Each owner prizes the pearl for its rare beauty. It was so admired that pearls became the jewels of the royalty in all of Persia.

Hanna’s Comments: The process of pearl creation is fascinating and so unique. Perhaps that’s why the “pearl of great price” is mentioned in our Holy Scriptures in the book of Matthew 13. There is potential here for conversation about many important concepts such as transformation, God’s creative spirit, beauty, generosity, and treasure.

Original Publisher & Date of Publication: Disney/Hyperion Books, 2013 

Age & Grade Appropriateness: 3 and up, Pre and up

# of Pages: 32 

Available in Spanish? Not at present 

Formats other than Book: None at present

PBT Category:  Fresh off the Press

PBT Topics this Book connects with: Asia, awe, beach/ocean/pond/river/sea/shore, beauty, blessings, consumerism/consumption/riches, creation, difficulties, discovery/invention, the environment/nature, family, found, parables/stories, parents/parental love, possessions, surprise, transformation, treasure, wonder

Scripture Connections: If you search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God (Proverbs 2:4-5); Parable of the pearl merchant (Matthew 13:45-46); for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also (Luke 12:34) 

Idea(s) for Application: Read this book to a group of tweens and talk about the parable of the pearl merchant in the book of Matthew. Discuss what counts as treasure today and how this can lead to greed or idolatry if not held in check.