Friday, August 19, 2016

For Wind-Wild Tweens & Teens

Picture Book: Wind-Wild Dog
Author: Barbara Joosse
Illustrator: Kate Kiesler 
Summary: This is the story of Ziva, a future sled dog, born with a brown eye and a blue, making potential buyers wary. They believed this would make her half-wild. 
One man does purchase and train her for mushing. 
Told from the point of view of Ziva, the desire to run wild is ever present, particularly when she sees the Man running and hears in the wind the call of a wolf. 
The Man suspects Ziva’s inclinations. At the first opportunity, Ziva does run for freedom.
When she encounters a wolf, it smells wild like the wind, but Ziva also smells on herself the smell of the Man. 
She knows the Man’s smell is her smell now and misses the Man so she returns. 
The Man has tears of relief in his eyes once Ziva returns. He hoped the wind-wild dog he loved so much would stay with him. 
A helpful Author’s Note in the back serves as a glossary of unusual words.
Hanna’s Comments:  Now and then I read a book that connects directly to a Bible story. Do you see the connections between Ziva and the Prodigal Son? Your children will. They are used to finding connections across literature in school. One of the benefits of PBT is that secular books often offer a window into a world in which readers know little or nothing. Few of your children will know the world of dog sledding and particularly how the dogs are trained. 
Children will like this book for that reason. When you add a faith component to this reading experience, the learning becomes more meaningful. Be sure to link the concept of running wild to the scripture as well as to modern contexts. If your children are tweens or older, they are likely already facing temptations involving the “wild” possibilities of adulthood. Learning how to handle their freedom, like Ziva, is an important aspect of faith development. 
Use this opportunity to offer wisdom and direction grounded in their faith. Like the father in the parable and the Man in the picture book, emphasize the freedom God gives us and the availability of God’s mercy no matter what they might do in their futures. Returning is always an option. 
Original Publisher & Date: Henry Holt & Co., 2006
Age & Grade Appropriateness: 4 and up, Pre and up
Formats other than Book: None at present
Scripture Connections: The Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32)
Idea(s) for Application: Read this book to a group of children or teens who are studying about Jesus’ parable of the Prodigal Son and God’s ever-present mercy.

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