Monday, April 13, 2015

A Picture Book a Day for a Year: Day 359

Picture Book: Uncle Willie and the Soup Kitchen 

Author & Illustrator: DyAnne DiSalvo-Ryan 

Summary: On those days when his mother works, a young nephew is always pleased to be picked up from school by his Uncle Willie who works at a soup kitchen. The young boy has lots of questions about the soup kitchen so on a day off from school, the two go to the soup kitchen together. Uncle Willie introduces his nephew to the soup kitchen volunteers including the cat Underfoot. The young boy helps prepare the fruit salad. He is amazed by the size of the appliances and how much it is like his school cafeteria. He learns that, “in the soup kitchen you only have to be hungry,” and “there’s always a little bit more.” Uncle Willie explains the difference between being homeless and hungry. The boy gets more comfortable with the strangers, even the Can Man, who he has seen around town collecting cans. He begins to understand the joy his uncle feels when so many hungry people are fed.   

Hanna’s Comments: Children can become quite comfortable as a part of a team serving those in a homeless shelter or soup kitchen. Much of their initial anxiety can be prevented through anticipating and answering their questions. This book is a great resource for such a conversation. Arm your children with information and they will be more ready to engage and help. Also, give them your faith-based reasons for serving. Because of the age of this book, I suggest you look on the internet for some up-dated statistics and names of soup kitchens in your city to replace the information found in the section titled About Soup Kitchens which is at the beginning of the book.

Original Publisher & Date of Publication: Morrow Junior Books, 1991

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 @K

PBT Topics this Book connects with: action, aliens/immigrants/refugees/strangers, blessings, bonds/connections, brokenness, caring/tending, community, dependence/interdependence, diversity, family, feasting/food/hunger/nutrition, goodness, helping, heroes, hospitality, image of God, joy, kindness, labor/work, leadership/servant leadership, manna, mentors/teachers, neighborhood, partners/teamwork, passion, poverty, servant/service/serving, sharing, social justice, at table

Scripture Connections: Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord (Proverbs 19:17); …they all ate and were satisfied (Matthew 14:20); just as you did it to the least of these in my family you did it to me (Matthew 25); give to the needy (Luke 12:33); by working hard in this way we must help the weak (Acts 20:35)  

Idea(s) for Application: Read this book to your family or a group of children before taking them to a soup kitchen so that they may understand better the plight of the poor and the response the Lord encourages in us.