Monday, August 1, 2016

Chocolate and Generosity

Picture Book: Love Monster and the Last Chocolate
Author & Illustrator: Rachel Bright 
Summary: This book is in a series of several books. In all, you’ll find Love Monster living in a world of cute, fluffy things. In the first, Love Monster searches for love among the fluffy creatures, thinking no one will love a slightly hairy, googly-eyed monster.
In this latest book, Love Monster knows he is loved by all his cute fluffy animal friends. He is fretting about a box of chocolates, found when he arrives home from a trip. 
Before opening it, he worries about whether he should share the chocolates. There might not be enough to share with all his cute, fluffy friends. 
Someone might eat his favorite, Double Chocolate Strawberry Swirl. Perhaps he will have only the coffee one left after sharing. He hates the coffee one! 
After deciding not to share and then feeling very guilty, he runs to his friends and confesses his selfishness. 
They tell him to look in the box. There he finds one chocolate, his favorite, and a love note saying how much they missed their favorite monster. 
The story ends with this wise statement: “Sometimes it’s when you stop to think of others that you start to find out just how much they think of you.”
Hanna’s Comments: How could I not love this book?! It’s about 2 of my favorite experiences if this great life God gives: chocolate and friends! Your children will get a kick out of Love Monster’s fretting. Help them realize how he struggles with generosity but is still willing. Claim and explain the joys of generosity.
Allow them to give examples of when they have discovered surprising generosity from others. Then tie it all together with some scripture. See my suggestions below.
Original Publisher & Date: Farrar, Straus, & Giroux, 2015 
Age & Grade Appropriateness: 2 and up, Pre and up
Formats other than Book: Tablet
Scripture Connections: One gives freely, yet grows all the richer. (Proverbs 11:24-25); Give and it will be given to you. (Luke 6:38a); It is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35b); Let no one seek their own good but the good of a neighbor (1 Cor. 10:24); Look not only to your own interests but to the interests of others (Phil. 2:4)
Idea(s) for Application: Read this book when teaching children about the joys (and struggles) of generosity.