Friday, April 17, 2015

A Picture Book a Day for a Year: Day 363

Dynamic Duo: Book 1
Picture Book: Emmanuel’s Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah 

Author: Laurie Anne Thomson

Illustrator: Sean Qualls

Summary: Emmanuel, born in Ghana with only one fully developed leg, was not cast out as tradition would have it. Instead his mother, Comfort, named him “God is with Us” and told him he must do common tasks on his own. He learned to do what typical African boys do, like climb trees and fetch water. He earned money for the family by shining shoes. Comfort carried Emmanuel the two miles to school until she could carry him no longer; then he hopped to and from school. At school, he wanted to play soccer (“football” in Africa), but the boys wouldn’t let him so he saved his money, purchased a real ball, took it to school, and required them to let him play. When his mother became ill, Emmanuel went to the city to work to support his family. He worked at a food stand, but he continually dealt with prejudice. Before his mother died, she encouraged him to “never beg and never give up”. He decided to honor her by demonstrating to his country that “being disabled does not mean being unable.” The Challenged Athletes Foundation in California sent him a bicycle, helmet, shorts, socks, and gloves. After training, going door to door for support, and receiving a royal blessing from the king, he tied his handicapped leg to the bike frame and pedaled with the other leg nearly 400 miles in 10 days! When he stopped to rest, he spoke about the unfair plight of disabled people. As he pedaled, he wore the colors of his country and the words, “The Pozo” which means “The Disabled Person.” He gained attention from his fellow citizens, both disabled and able-bodied, and people from around the world, becoming a national and international hero who had changed the world.

Hanna’s Comments: This is the first in a PBT Dynamic Duo about heroes who have changed the world. In this book you’ll find a Note from the Author and information about Emmanuel’s charitable organization. Appropriately, religious lessons for children often focus on characters from scripture. It is my position that children will benefit greatly from lessons about contemporary heroes as well, especially if those heroes have faith-based reasons for their significant work. In today’s and tomorrow’s book, children can hear how the seeds of these changes began in childhood. Let these and other stories of contemporary heroes inspire the children in your family of faith to make positive changes in the world.

Original Publisher & Date of Publication: Random House, 2015

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

# of Pages: 40 

Available in Spanish? Not at present 

Formats other than Book: Tablet, There are several videos about Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah on Youtube.com including a trailer for the feature length film that shares the title of this picture book. 

PBT Category: Fresh off the Press, Biography, Non-fiction  

PBT Topics this Book connects with:  abilities, acceptance, action, adaptation/assimilation, Africa, aspiration/dreams, bravery/courage, challenges, commitment, confidence, difficulties, disabilities/handicaps/limitations, heroes, journeys/migrations/pilgrimages/quests, labor/work, leadership/servant leadership, mission, mothers, parents/parental love, participation, perseverance, power, steadfastness, strength/strength in God, underdogs, wisdom

Scripture Connections: We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character… (Romans 5:3-4); count it all joy when you meet trials of various kinds (James 1:2); blessed is the one who remains steadfast under trial (James 1:12)
Idea(s) for Application: Read this book to a group of children in your faith family to inspire them to make positive changes in the world.