Wednesday, March 16, 2016

PBT Blog Series: Theological Statements for Young Children #3

Illustration from Have Fun, Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell & David Catrow

The 3rd PBT theological statement for young children is: God gave you a great body to do great things.

This is probably my favorite of the 12 statements because the books that tap into this idea cover such a wonderful range and are so encouraging to children. This statement not only inspires children to use their bodies to do good work and play. This statement is also about aspects of the brain such as learning, problem solving, imagination, and creativity.

Again I start with a Sandra Boynton book for very young children. Children are fascinated with belly buttons, probably because they are so reachable and weird looking. This fun book offers an opportunity celebrate an interesting aspect of the bodies of humans and many other animals. 

Be sure to tell children about the important function of belly buttons and how they are a reminder of when we were inside our mama’s bellies. Thanks be to God that our mama’s body was able to do such a great thing: feed us while we were growing. What a wonderful design and reminder God has given us!
Picture Book: Belly Button Book
Author & Illustrator: Sandra Boynton
Original Publisher & Date: Workman, 2002
Age & Grade Appropriateness: 2 and up
Formats other than Book: None at present

The next book is a celebration of art in all its wondrous varieties. Here you have young children engaging in painting, music, writing, cooking, dancing, pottery, sewing, and performing. The double page spread at the end is a theatrical culmination of the creative work the children have been doing to demonstrate to an audience “When We Grow Up.”

This is a perfect book for a unit on careers that allows you to open up the spiritual aspects of vocation. Don’t use those words, of course. Simply talk to the children about how being made in the image of God means that we get to be creators too. And God gives us a body (and brain) that encourages our creativity and artistry in our good work as children and adults. 

 Picture Book: Think Big                                      

 Author: Liz Garton Scanlon

 Illustrator: Vanessa Brantley Newton

 Original Publisher & Date: Scholastic, 2012

 Age & Grade Appropriateness: 3 and up, Pre and up

 Formats other than Book: None at present

The next PBT offering is a fun book about science! Children in an elementary classroom are given the materials to participate in a Going Places contest (similar to a soap box derby). Rafael and Maya, are next door neighbors. Rafael follows the direction in the box, but Maya’s dreams carry her literally outside the box to the possibility that her contraption might fly. Rafael catches Maya’s dream and they work together. They win the race in an amazing way that doesn’t quite fit with the laws of science, but your children will love their dreaming. You’ll love the chance to talk about how cooperation often leads to a better end. Encourage your children to consider what God might want them to invent to make the world a better place.
Picture Book: Going Places
Author: Peter and Paul Reynolds
Illustrator: Peter Reynolds
Original Publisher & Date: Scholastic, 2014
Age & Grade Appropriateness: 4 and up, Pre and up
Formats other than Book: Tablet

The next offering is a twofer. The author and illustrator followed up the success of the book pictured here with a male version: My Name is Not Alexander: Just How Big Can a Little Kid Dream? (2018 Update) Now available: Isabella: Girl on the Go and Isabella: Star of the Story.

No matter which book you choose, you’ll delight in the imaginations of these children who refuse to answer to their own name because they are pretending to be a famous person. Can you guess who Isabella becomes? Sally the astronaut, Annie the sharpshooter, Rosa the activist, Marie the scientist, Elizabeth the doctor, and Mommy the greatest Mommy ever. In the back of each book you’ll find facts about each hero, including Mommy or Daddy!
Picture Book: My Name is Not Isabella: Just How Big                                           Can a Little Girl Dream?          
Author: Jennifer Fosberry
Illustrator: Mike Litwin
Original Publisher & Date: Scholastic, 2008
Age & Grade Appropriateness: 4 and up, Pre and up
Formats other than Book: Tablet

Other PBT books that connect with links to posts:
Here are My Hands - 8/30/14     
You’re Here for a Reason - 1/11/16
Have Fun Molly Lou Melon - 7/26/14  
Lola Loves Stories - 4/22/14        
Lion’s Lunch - 5/8/14
I Love You Nose, I Love You Toes - 2/18/15
Extra Yarn - 5/31/14 
The Little Engine That Could - 4/20/14
Hands Say Love - 3/14/15  
Planting a Rainbow - 9/5/14
The Curious Garden - 8/13/14

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