Monday, August 22, 2016

Secrets and God’s Presence

Picture Book: Can I Tell You a Secret?
Author: Anna Kang
Illustrator: Christopher Weyant
Summary: The hook with this book is that you, the reader, and your audience are Monty’s friend to whom he is confessing his secret.
This little frog can’t swim; he’s afraid of the water! 
He acknowledges that a frog should be able to swim, but since he was a tadpole he has been finding ways to avoid the water. 
Thanks to his new friends (you and your audience), Monty decides that he must confess this to his parents. 
After a few tries, he tells them the news. Like the good parents they are, they already know and decide it’s time he overcomes his fear and learn to swim. 
He invites his new friends (you and your audience) to come with him as he tries. 
He has limited success, but he’s thrilled with his progress and thankful you came along. 
You get the sense that Monty’s going to be a swimmer after all.
Hanna’s Comments: Here’s an idea for a simple but very meaningful lesson for your children at home or the children of your faith family. Read the scripture below. Talk about how the Israelites had been in the wilderness where they had struggled with the idea of God being with them wherever they went. It took a long time for some of them to believe this.
Next, begin the book by explaining that Monty is addressing your listeners. Then read this fun book straight through with no commentary. Lastly, read the book again but direct the children to imagine that Monty is talking to God. 
The story will be transformed and the conversation you facilitate as you read will be rich and full of possibilities for understanding how God can be a comfort and companion in times of fear. That's the power of Picture Book Theology!
Original Publisher & Date: Harper Collins, 2016
Age & Grade Appropriateness: 4 and up, Pre and up
Formats other than Book: None at present
Scripture Connections: Be strong and courageous (Joshua 1:9); Do not fear for I will be with you… (Isaiah 41:10)
Idea(s) for Application: Read this book to a child who is struggling with any new or difficult situation and encourage him or her to remember God’s presence and unconditional love.