Tuesday, April 14, 2015

A Picture Book a Day for a Year: Day 360

Picture Book: Over There

Author & Illustrator: Steve Pilcher 

Summary: Shredder, a tiny shrew, is happy in his forest home. It’s cozy and food is aplenty, but there’s no one to talk to or sing with him. He wonders if there might be something more, something better. He sees a shiny object in the distance and decides it might provide the answer. Despite his fears, his curiosity leads him to set off and explore. His point of view changes as the sky gets bigger and the grass gets taller. When he reaches a stream he must cross, he finds the shiny object there. It is a silver boat (aluminum foil bowl) which he expects will serve him nicely as his journey continues, but it quickly capsizes. A dark furry mole fishes him out of the water and introduces himself as Nosey, a professional digger. Nosey invites Shredder to dig. They dig together until a shadow falls over them. Together they quickly hide until it is gone and decide to find Shredder’s home. Shredder, wearing red and blue, says to Nosey, who is wearing purple, “Did you know that red and blue make purple?” At this question, Nosey responds that purple is his favorite color. Everything did seem better.

Hanna’s Comments: This book is part of a series of books that highlight the artists of Pixar Animation Studios, makers of movies like Finding Nemo and Up. The illustrations are luscious! The story is poignant and has potential for much discussion about the benefits of considering the possibility of more, exploring beyond your ordinary, and being in community. Both children and adults would enjoy this book. Consider starting with the question, “Why did Shredder want someone to sing with him?”

Original Publisher & Date of Publication: Disney Press, 2014

Age & Grade Appropriateness: 3 and up, Pre 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: adventure, attentiveness/observation/seeing, beginnings/morning, belonging, bonds/connections, choir/music/singing/songs, community, companionship, discovery/invention, emotions/feelings, exploration, found, friends/friendship, God’s will, hiding/isolation, home, hope, journeys/migrations/pilgrimages/quests, loneliness, openness, presence, questioning/questions, searching

Scripture Connections: Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil… (Ecclesiastes 4:9); where two or more are gathered in my name, there am I among them (Matthew 18:20)  

Idea(s) for Application: Read this book to a group of children who are learning about the benefits of being in community. 

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