Monday, June 1, 2015

Finding a Happy Home at the Altar of the Lord

Picture Book: Cathedral Mouse

Author & Illustrator: Kay Chorao

Summary: After escaping a pet store and being chased from a meat market, Mouse scampers into a nearby cathedral. He is at first afraid of the odd sounds and strange sights of the unique space. As he begins to explore the vast and beautiful rooms, he hopes to make it his new home, but he meets hostile resident mice who don’t invite him into their community. He is determined to stay however. He especially enjoys the light from the stained-glass windows and a friendship with the stone carver who creates a special place for him and declares him to be Cathedral Mouse. Mouse has found a home.

Hanna’s Comments: Whether or not your place of worship is a cathedral, a house church, or a store front, your children can benefit from the reading of this beautiful picture book. Certainly Mouse is intrigued and wooed by the beauty of this cathedral, but it is the hospitality and friendship of the stone carver who encourages him to stay despite the resistance of the resident mice. Do you know anyone in your family of faith who is resistant to newcomers? Perhaps they are upset when visitors sit in “their seat” at worship. This book is appropriate for adults in your faith family too for it invites us all to consider the perspective of strangers who wander into our midst, sometimes running from and carrying human fears and hopes for community. The hospitality and encouragement of the stone carver is what God wants us to offer to strangers.   

Another important emphasis you can give when presenting this book is in talking about the importance of a family of faith that feels at home. Connect positive aspects of home to your family of faith and encourage your listeners to have a faith home all their lives. The first verses of Psalm 84 (see below) describe this beautifully.

Original Publisher & Date of Publication: E. P. Dutton, 1988

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: Pre 2K

Scripture Connections: Treat the stranger who sojourns with you as a native among you (Leviticus 19:34); even the sparrow finds a home and the swallow a nest for herself …Happy are those who live in your house (Psalm 84:3-4a); do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers for thereby some have entertained angels unawares (Hebrews 13:2); show hospitality to one another without grumbling (1 Peter 4:9) 

Idea(s) for Application: Read this book to a group of children or adults when presenting a program on the importance of finding a home in a family of faith or a lesson on the spiritual practice of hospitality.