Friday, April 8, 2016

PBT Blog Series: Theological Statements for Young Children #6

Illustration from Koala Lou by Mim Fox
The 6th PBT theological statement for young children is: God/Jesus loves you and wants you to love yourself and others.
Illustration from Hug by Jex Alborough
I begin this statement with a choice of words because it is important when you make these statements that you are authentic in your beliefs. Use the word (God or Jesus) that most feels aligned to your faith.
Illustration from Bear and Bunny by Daniel Pinkwater and Will Hillenbrand
This statement is all about love, a common subject for wonderful picture books. Below I list some of the best that I’ve already featured here at PBT.
Illustration from Hug by Jex Alborough
Today I also offer a few new picture books that you’ll be glad to know so that you can emphasize to young children how much God loves them and wants them to love themselves and others. 
Illustration from Love is My Favorite Thing by Emma Chichester Clark
All children of God, (that’s everyone!) need to hear these messages over and over throughout their lives.
Illustration from Leonardo the Terrible Monster by Mo Willems
Be sure to refer to the examples of loving behavior in these stories to make connections with how God/Jesus loves you and wants you to love yourself and others.
My first offering is a PBT Dynamic Duo. It is about the blossoming of a loving relationship that begins with secret gift-giving. 
The sequel has the life-loving and somewhat lazy pair from still devoted to each other and wanting to spread their love by getting a pet. They share some confusion about what might be the right pet, a pine cone? a caterpillar? 
After some trial, error, and power napping, the perfect pet for this couple is found and more loving ensues. More books might follow.
Picture Book: Bear in Love
Author: Daniel Pinkwater
Illustrator: Will Hillenbrand
Original Publisher & Date: Candlewick, 2012
Age & Grade Appropriateness: 2 and up, Toddler and up
Formats other than Book: Tablet
Picture Book: Bear and Bunny
Author: Daniel Pinkwater
Illustrator: Will Hillenbrand
Original Publisher & Date: Candlewick, 2015
Age & Grade Appropriateness: 2 and up, Toddler and up
Formats other than Book: None at present

Next, young children will adore Plum, a wonderful pooch inspired by the author’s own pet, who delights in all the favorite things her loving family gives her. 
Best of all, when Plum can’t help being naughty, her family still loves her. This book would supplement lessons on love and on grace. 
There is an earlier book, Plumdog, but it was not available to me via the library so I can’t recommend it outright. Read more about the actual Plum at Plumdog Blog: http://emmachichesterclark.blogspot.com/.
Picture Book: Love is My Favorite Thing
Author & Illustrator: Emma Chichester Clark
Original Publisher & Date: Nancy Paulsen Books, 2015
Age & Grade Appropriateness: 3 and up, Pre and up
Formats other than Book: Tablet

The last offering is hilarious! Your kids will love the suspense and irony of this book. 
Despite his past failures, the title character is determined to be scary monster so he looks for the perfect potential victim. 
After giving his best scare to Sam, a meek-looking boy, Sam’s tears flow. 
When Sam explains that his tears are for all sorts of reasons none of which have anything to do with the scare, Leonardo responds with compassion and, you guessed it, love. Instead of being a terrible monster, Leonardo chooses to be “a wonderful friend.” 
Their relationship develops beautifully, despite Leonardo’s attempts (with some success) to scare Sam now and then.
Picture Book: Leonardo the Terrible Monster
Author & Illustrator: Mo Willems
Original Publisher & Date: Hyperion, 2005
Age & Grade Appropriateness: 3 and up, Pre and up 
Formats other than Book: Audible

Other PBT books that connect with links to posts:
Wherever You Are My Love Will Find You - 1/11/16
Love is a Handful of Honey - 4/10/15
A Sick Day for Amos McGee - 4/28/14  
Do Unto Otters - 10/25/14
Hug - 12/13/14  
You are My Sunshine - 3/19/15
Toot & Puddle: You Are My Sunshine - 3/18/15
Say Hello! - 12/19/14  
Be Gentle - 2/10/15
This Little Light of Mine - 4/27/14
Koala Lou - 10/28/14
Miss Maple’s Seeds - 5/27/14
Ten Things I Love About You - 7/29/14
Nest - 8/11/14
You’re All My Favorites - 10/27/14