Friday, September 30, 2016

Little Offerings

Picture Book: Bring Me a Rock
Author & Illustrator: Daniel Miyares
Summary: This clever book is all about offerings. 
A grasshopper king demands that each of his subjects, bring him a rock to build a majestic throne. 
A little bug brings a pebble, all that can be carried by such a little one, but the ungrateful king screams, rejecting the offering and the bug. 
Shunned, the little bug looks on while the throne is built, very tall and very wobbly. When the king gets on top, it doesn’t go so well. 
Little bug quickly comes forward with his pebble which is just right to stabilize the throne. 
When praised and promised a reward, the little bug says, “Bring me those rocks!”  
The result of the little bug's request is in the last illustration, showing all insects, King included, on pedestals, all the same height. King isn’t happy, but everyone else is, especially the little bug.
Hanna’s Comments: If like me, you are passionate about equality and are particularly drawn to scripture emphasizing God's impartiality, then you’ll like this tale. Mine is a progressive Christian church that struggles to find curricula emphasizing biblical principles such as justice, hospitality, diversity, etc. Too often children are viewed as outsiders in the arenas of theology and worship and not asked to contribute their opinions and their offerings. However, children, like this little bug, can be very wise, eager, and determined, all valuable contributions to a faith family. 
The benefits of Picture Book Theology are exemplified in this picture book. Although a secular story, it gets to the heart of themes that are touted by Jesus and his followers again and again. Besides the egalitarian theme, discuss what kinds of offerings children can make in your place of worship and in the world. Broaden and make more sacred their concepts of humility, servanthood, loyalty, worship, and judgement. There’s a great deal of treasure to mine here.  
Original Publisher & Date: Simon & Schuster, 2016
Age & Grade Appropriateness: 4 and up, Pre and up
Formats other than Book: Tablet
Scripture Connections: The disciples rebuked the people but Jesus said, “Let the children come to me.” (Matt. 19: 13-15); one who is least among all is the one who is great (Luke 9: 48); a servant isn’t greater than a master (John 13:16); God shows no partiality (Romans 2:11); there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free… (Gal. 3:28)
Idea(s) for Application: Your children will respond to this book in a lesson about one of the many scriptures or biblical themes listed above because they will readily identify with the little bug.