Friday, August 14, 2015

The Silliness of Humans and God’s Delicious Provisions

The following two books have several things in common:
a woman devoted to children
the love, fellowship, joy, and work of preparing meals
and God’s delicious abundance.
The first book might be called a comical modern parable. The second involves a true story of determination and revolution.

Picture Book: The Seven Silly Eaters

Author: Mary Ann Hoberman

Illustrator: Marla Frazee

Summary: In clever rhymed verse, this author presents the increasing toil of a mother whose 7 children each will eat only one food. That’s 7 different foods! Her trouble begins when lovingly Mrs. Peters wants to please her first child who will only drink milk at a certain temperature. Then each newly born children will consume only one different item. All of these foods require trips to the grocery store (That’s how Mr. Peters is involved.) and cooking. No pre-cooked foods here! On her birthday, the children decide to fix their mother the food that they love, but their kitchen skills are lacking and things don’t go well. Their combined efforts make a scrumptious mess that transforms the future meal prep of Mrs. Peters and the eating habits of her children.
Hanna’s Comments: This book was recently used in a lesson for elementary children about Peter’s dream in Acts 10 in which he sees a group of unclean animals upon a sheet coming down from the sky. God invites Peter to eat and Peter says, “By no means, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is profane or unclean.” God responds, “What God has made clean, you must not call profane.” It is easy to see the connections between the picture book and the scripture. It is also easy to see God personified in Mrs. Peter’s loving devotion, provision, and patience. The later deserves a very different kind of conversation about human tendencies to make demands of God on our timeline and schedule.

Original Publisher & Date of Publication: Voyager Books, 1997

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

# of Pages: 40

Available in Spanish? Not at present

Formats other than Book: Video, Audio Cassette

PBT Category: Pre 2K

Scripture Connections: The food laws in Leviticus 11; My soul is satisfied as with a rich feast, and my mouth praises you with joyful lips (Psalm 63:5); Open your mouth wide and I will fill it (Psalm 81:10); Peter’s Dream (Acts 10)

Idea(s) for Application: Read this book to a group children and make connections with Acts 10 or read it to a group of adults and consider the personification of God in Mrs. Peters and how we are like her picky children.  

Picture Book: Alice Waters and the Trip to Delicious

Author: Jacqueline Briggs Martin

Illustrator: Hayelin Choi

Afterward: Alice Waters

Summary: Alice Waters has been called the mother of the slow food movement here in the USA. This picture book offers her back story and her mission that every child in America (Dare I say the world?) would come with her on the “Trip to Delicious.” This involves teaching children the story of fresh food and encouraging them to taste good food, every day, even in their school lunches. As a child, Alice was often in search of Delicious. She journeyed to France to study food and returned to California where she opened her restaurant Chez: Panisse. Quickly she struggled to find fresh food for her restaurant. Through her efforts to secure fresh food, relationships with growers were begun, along with The Edible Schoolyard Project, where students can grow and cook their own food. Alice hopes that all children can pursue their dreams to positively change the world sustained by Trips to Delicious. In the back of the book you’ll find an Afterward where Alice Waters encourages the readers, an Author’s Note where Jacqueline Briggs Martin offers a more detailed context to the story, a Bibliography and Resources where you’ll find websites and books on growing food and cooking food.  

Hanna’s Comments: So what does a book about the beginnings of the slow food movement offer families of faith?  In the text it says that Alice Waters knows that sharing good food can wake people up, create happiness, start a party, and make memories. What better activities for faith families? Make connections between the Trip to Delicious and our foundational precept: Oh taste and see that the Lord is good.

Original Publisher & Date of Publication: Readers to Eaters, 2014

Age & Grade Appropriateness: 5 and up, K and up

# of Pages: 32

Available in Spanish? Not at present 

Formats other than Book: None at present

PBT Category: Biography, Post 2K

Scripture Connections: Oh taste and see that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8); Open your mouth wide and I will fill it (Psalm 81:10); My soul is satisfied as with a rich feast, and my mouth praises you with joyful lips (Psalm 63:5); You satisfy the thirsty and fill the hungry with good things (Psalm 107:9)

Idea(s) for Application: Read this book to a group of teens or young adults who are exploring vocational aspirations that will positively impact the world. 

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