Monday, June 20, 2016

Gossip, Fear, or Trust

Picture Book: Help! A Story of Friendship
Author & Illustrator: Holly Keller
Summary: This is a simple story that demonstrates the harm gossip and fear can do to relationships, even to a close friendship. Mouse confesses to Hedgehog that “Fox told Skunk and Skunk told me that snakes are very dangerous to mice.” 
Hedgehog quickly replies, “You know Snake would never hurt you.” When Mouse, due to his fear and distraction, falls into a deep hole, Hedgehog tries to recruit help from friends who come along. 
For various reasons, none can help but Snake. Hedgehog explains to snake that Mouse is very afraid of him so Snake cannot enter the hole. 
Snake creatively devises a solution that involves him holding a stick with his tail and sticking it down the hole for Mouse to grab. Then Snake crawls up a nearby tree to pull Mouse up the hole. 
Once Mouse realizes who has rescued him, Snake quickly reassures, “I would never hurt you.” Mouse apologizes and eventually delivers a bouquet of flowers to snake to say thanks.
The art technique for these illustrations is briefly explained in Holly Keller’s bio on the book jacket. If you like doing crafts with your children’s lessons, you might want to incorporate some rubbings or textured printings.
Hanna’s Comments: I recently visited a United Methodist Church in Arlington, Virginia. This book was read for the children’s moment. It was so fun for me to experience a picture book during a worship service. I don’t know if the reader knows of this blog, but I do know he did a marvelous job reading the book and tying it to the scripture to be read that day in worship. I believe that children's sermons should always be high quality for many adults will glean wisdom, recall, and apply as much from a good children's sermon as an adult sermon.
Original Publisher & Date: Greenwillow Books, 2007
Age & Grade Appropriateness: 4 and up, Pre and up
Formats other than Book: None at present
Scripture Connections: Jesus heals the paralytic man who was let down through the roof (Luke 5:17-39); …there are some who are confusing you and perverting the gospel of Christ (Galatians 1:7); Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths… (Ephesians 4:29)
Idea(s) for Application: Read this book in a lesson or sermon about gossip, fear-based manipulation, sewing division, trust in friendship, or to make connections (in this case opposite connections) with the scripture story in Luke 5 (listed above).