Monday, July 11, 2016

TAKE my hand. GIVE me a hug.

Picture Book: Give and Take
Author & Illustrator: Chris Raschka
Summary: A farmer begins his day inspecting his apples, hoping for ripe apples. A small man leaps out and introduces himself as Take, explaining “Listen to me and your life will be fine.” 
The farmer takes him home despite feeling pretty satisfied with his life already. When his neighbor asks the farmer if he would like any of her pumpkins, Take instructs him to “Take them all.” He dumps all the apples and replaces them with pumpkins.
Then his neighbor tells him to take her advice and make pumpkin soup. Again Take insists that the farmer “Take her advice, take all of it.” Once the hard work of transporting the pumpkins and making the soup is done, the farmer remembers he doesn’t like pumpkin soup and craves an apple. 
Later he throws out Take. The routine repeats the next day, but another little man appears named Give. Give insists that if the farmer will listen to him, life will be sweeter. When they meet a pig farmer, Give says, “Give him your apples. Give away everything you have.” The farmer not only gives all of his apples, but he also gives all of his opinions and runs off the pig farmer. When at home the farmer realizes he has nothing 
so Give is thrown out too. The next day when his basket is full of ripe apples, the farmer finds Give and Take wrestling and arguing about who is greater. 
The farmer picks up both of them and takes them to the miller. The  farmer GIVES some apples and TAKES some flour. Advice is exchanged as well. When the farmer makes an apple pie, the wrestling stops with these words from Give and Take: “Take my hand.” “Give me a hug.” Then all enjoy the pie.
Hanna’s Comments: This is such a clever story! There’s so much to talk about that ties to scripture and living in community. I'm glad to tell you that I had the pleasure of experiencing a Chris Raschka presentation on Saturday at our local library. 
He drew, directed young children in simple dramatic renditions of several of his books, and even sang. I was very impressed with how well he understood how young children think and do which is why his books are so engaging. No wonder he has won 2 Caldecott medals. It is incredible what he can do with broad strokes of watercolor and ink. 
My favorite Chris Raschka is Yo! Yes? which I featured on Day 145 (9/11/14). Here’s the linkI’ve written a children’s lesson about hospitality based on this book. Comment or email me and let me know you’re interested in purchasing.
Give and Take demonstrates that Chris Raschka writes really smart. Don’t let its unusual characters keep you from delving in. Besides exploring concepts of generosity or gluttony, you might have a conversation about the opposites of an issue, the need for moderation, and of course the value of hands to hold and hugs.
Original Publisher & Date: Richard Jackson, 2014 
Age & Grade Appropriateness: 4 and up, Pre and up
Formats other than Book: Tablet
Scripture Connections: The Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23); any scripture about generosity, gluttony, or moderation
Idea(s) for Application: Let this book help you and your children understand the fruits of the Spirit more fully by talking about how we should both demonstrate them (give) and experience them (take) in order to have the kind of world God hopes for.

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