Thursday, April 16, 2015

A Picture Book a Day for a Year: Day 362

Picture Book: Me and Dog

Author: Gene Weingarten

Illustrator: Eric Shansby

Summary: Sid is just an ordinary kid with an ordinary dog, Murphy, who loves him, perhaps too much. Sid suspects that Murphy believes him to be the absolute ruler of the world. When things go badly, Murphy thinks it must be his fault. Happy times mean Murphy is being good. Sid declares,” It isn’t true! The world is large. And I’m a kid. I’m not in charge!” The fact that Murphy so often begs is also bothersome to Sid because he knows he gives Murphy everything he needs. Sid wonders if Murphy would be so good if he understood that Sid is not in charge of everything. Would he be more fearful? Less friendly or cheerful? Sid realizes things are pretty right the way they are so he pleads, “Let’s not tell him… ‘cause I love him and he loves me.”

Hanna’s Comments: Besides the thought-provoking questions that this picture book encourages, its clever rhymed verse and illustrations are extraordinary! Eventually guide your audience to think beyond these characters to human relationships with God and approaches to prayer. How do your listeners respond to God when bad things or good things happen? Notice the conclusion is about a loving relationship. Let love be the framework for the big questions and personal examples. Don’t feel as if you must have all the answers. Children are more comfortable with mystery than you may suspect. The points here are to enjoy this story, linger on the privilege of being loved by pets, and ask the big questions such as those about human relationships with God and the purposes of prayer.

Original Publisher & Date of Publication: Simon and Schuster, 2014

Age & Grade Appropriateness: 4 and up, Pre and up

# of Pages: 48

Available in Spanish? Not at present

Formats other than Book: Tablet

PBT Category: Fresh off the Press  

PBT Topics this Book connects with: animals, awe, blessings, companionship, consequences/punishment, dependence/interdependence, God’s nature, goodness, grace, guilt, humanity, idolatry, love, manna, perspective, pets, pleasing God/the Shema, prayer, questions/questioning, relationships, righteousness, sin, truth

Scripture Connections: Love the Lord your God… (Deuteronomy 6:5 & Luke 10:27); love is patient and kind (1 Corinthians 13:4); let all you do be done in love (1 Corinthians 16:14);

Idea(s) for Application: Read this book to a group of children when talking about issues of who or what we worship, how we view God in the context of good and bad happenings, or various approaches to prayer.