Monday, June 13, 2016

New Blog Series - PBT's Grab & Go #1

A week ago I began a PBT series highlighting the recently published picture books that I have already featured here. Because they are new (since 2013 - you might not have heard of them) and fabulous, they are worth reposting, hence the name of the series: PBT Redux.

Today I start another PBT series that is a little different. It is simply those secular books, again already featured here at PBT, that are extremely easy to use in sacred settings. They almost stand alone but not quite. God’s holiness is all over them, but you'll have to help your audience find the Holy and declare it so. Because they require little prep, I’m calling this series PBT’s Grab and Go. Look for more books in this series as the summer progresses. Here's a great example:

Picture Book: The Three Questions                        
Author & Illustrator: John J. Muth
Summary: This story is an adaptation of a story by Leo Tolstoy, a famous Russian writer. Nikolai’s desire to be the best person he can be leads him on a journey to ask 3 important questions of Leo, the wise turtle.
Nikolai discovers the answers while interacting with three companion animals, a heron, a monkey, and a dog. 
He encounters an injured panda, rescues her and her baby, and nurses both. 
This act of service and an earlier scenario help Leo point out the wisest answers to Nikolai's 3 questions which are:
1. When is the best time to do things? (Now) 
2. Who is the most important one? (The one you are with)
3. What is the right thing to do? (Do good for the one who is beside you)  
Hanna’s Comments: This book was originally featured here at PBT on 5/5/14. It is an example of a PBT book that could be used in most settings: a sermon illustration in worship, a Sunday School activity, a home/private school lesson, spiritual direction homework, a discipleship group, etc. There is much good theology here for adults as well as children, and all will enjoy this story. Just choose your audience and setting. 
You may want your listeners to determine the direction the conversation takes. Keep in mind that Nikolai can be a stand-in for your church, faith community, a small group of disciples, or the Body of Christ. 
Also, remember that all people learn best with relatable stories so bring the discussion around to examples that your audience can relate to. At the back of the book, you’ll find a description of the original story, which is about a Tsar not a boy, and gives biographical information on Leo Tolstoy. 
Publisher & Date of Publication: Scholastic, 2002
Age and Grade Appropriateness: 4 and up, Pre and up
Available in Spanish? Yes
Formats other than Book: None at present
Scripture Connections: Open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy, and to the poor in your land (Deuteronomy 15:11); one who waters will himself be watered (Proverbs 11:25); the Last Judgment (Matthew 25); in humility count others more significant than yourselves (Philippians 2:3)
Idea(s) for Application: Read this book to an audience in Servant Leadership Training or at a Confirmation Retreat.