Monday, April 11, 2016

PBT Blog Series: Theological Statements for Young Children #7

Illustrations from Yo! Yes? by Chris Raschka
Generosity and hospitality are the spiritual practices encouraged in the 7th PBT theological statement for young children: God/Jesus wants you to share with and include others. 
Illustrations from Little Nelly's Big Book by Pippa Goodhart & Andy Rowland
These include behaviors that parents and teachers of young children very much want to encourage. I’m simply suggesting that you use these opportunities to help your children understand that God/Jesus (your word choice) wants them to do these as well.
Illustrations from Can I Play Too? by Mo Willems
I’m offering 4 new PBT books and then as usual I list below the best of the PBT books (and the dates of each post about that book) that connect with this statement.
The first picture book involves a young elephant, Nelly, who has some identity confusion. 
She reads about a mouse in a book and is convinced she is a mouse. She goes in search of a mouse family. Despite her size, the mice welcome and include her. 
Nelly’s size and the food situation continues to bother her. Eventually Nelly’s mice take her to live in the zoo with other big  mice.
The story ends with Nelly’s mouse friend, Micky, looking in the book and discovering that he is an elephant. 
Nelly responds, “But, Micky, even though you aren’t a mouse like me, I’ll still be your friend.”
Picture Book: Little Nelly’s Big Book
Author: Pippa Goodhart
Illustrator: Andy Rowland
Original Publisher & Date: Scholastic, 2012
Age & Grade Appropriateness: 4 and up, Pre and up
Formats other than Book: Tablet

The next book offers a bit of a mystery. Thomas is enjoying his blanket cave. 
Each time he steps away, a bear invades. The cave is too small for two. Besides, do you want to share with a bear? 
Thomas does his best to lure Bear away with food and other things bears like, but Bear keeps coming back to Thomas’ cave. 
The mystery? Bear seems to be in costume, and you never see his face until the end when it is revealed that Bear is Thomas’ little brother! Then the story makes sense!
Eventually Bear’s tears convince Thomas to build a bigger cave to share so they can both enjoy the things that bears and humans love.
Picture Book: How to Share with a Bear
Author: Eric Pinder
Illustrator: Stephanie Graegin
Original Publisher & Date:
Age & Grade Appropriateness: 2 and up, Toddler and up
Formats other than Book: Tablet

The next 2 books are from Mo Willems’ Elephant and Piggie series which I highly recommend for toddlers & preschoolers. What Willems does so well with these books is offer funny situations with very human-like animals. 
His drawings and situations are simple but the facial expressions are crucial and often funny. Getting your children to mimic these faces and labeling those feelings is a fun and important social-emotional skill for young children to be learning.
In the first, Elephant and Piggie are about to play catch. When Snake asks to play too, they are reluctant and confused. How do you play catch with a snake? 
First there’s some hilarity. Then they try to include Snake, but it doesn’t go well. 
Eventually, they come up with a creative way to play catch together and fun follows.
Picture Book: Can I Play Too?
Author & Illustrator: Mo Willems
Original Publisher & Date: Hyperion, 2010
Age & Grade Appropriateness: 2 and up, Toddler and up
Formats other than Book: None at present

The other Elephant and Piggie book has Elephant conflicted. 
He has an ice cream cone and wonders if he should share with his good friend Piggie. 
He rationalizes and debates himself for so long that the situation changes.
Fortunately, Piggie comes along with just the treat that Elephant wants.
I encourage you to look at other Mo Willems books for potential PBT lessons. I love his sense of humor. Your kids will too!
Picture Book: Should I Share My Ice Cream?
Author & Illustrator: Mo Willems
Original Publisher & Date: Hyperion, 2011
Age & Grade Appropriateness: 2 and up, Toddler and up
Formats other than Book: None at present

Other PBT books that connect with links to posts:
Xander’s Panda Party - 5/28/14  
And Away We Go! - 3/8/15
Shoebox Sam - 12/15/14       
Curious George Saves His Pennies - 6/2/14
But Not the Hippopotamus - 8/29/14    
Cat and Bunny - 2/24/15
A Good Trade - 5/7/14
Sick Day for Amos McGee - 4/28/14
Say Hello! - 12/19/14
Yo! Yes? - 9/11/14
Rainbow Fish - 12/3/14
Virgil and Owen4/5/16