Friday, October 21, 2016

From the Front Porch

Picture Book: Homer
Author & Illustrator: Elisha Cooper
Summary: Homer is sitting on the front porch, looking toward the beach. He’s considering what to do today as family members pass on the way to the beach.
Chase his fellow dogs around the yard? No
Go exploring with his girl? No
Walk on the beach? No  
Swim or go to the market? No
Instead he watches his family delight in their day.
As all return, they greet Homer, who is still on the front porch, and tell them of their experiences. 
He is glad to hear and see the results. When asked if he needs anything, 
Homer realizes he has everything he wants right there. 
Hanna’s Comments: This beautiful book is about an old dog who is an integral part of his family. 
Despite the limits of his body and his inclinations, he is happy gazing at his family’s fun at the beach and being surrounded by them as they enjoy the afternoon. At end of day inside, Homer finds the busyness of a loving family 
and a way to again be in the midst of them. 
The book ends with gratitude for having such a loving family and lovely place in the world. It is no coincidence that the word home is in Homer's name. As I read this book, I couldn’t help but think of those in my church who are less able to do the meaningful church activities of their past. Instead, they encourage those of us who are more able to go and do, and they pray for our success and well-being. I am very grateful for them and see this book as a way to encourage children and adults to offer appropriate inclusion, hear their stories, and consider their ministry needs.
Original Publisher & Date: Greenwillow Books, 2012
Age & Grade Appropriateness: 4 and up, Pre and up
Formats other than Book: None at present
Scripture Connections: You shall stand up before the gray head and honor the face of an old man (Leviticus 19:32); do not cast me off in the time of old age… (Psalm 71:9); when you serve the least you serve Jesus (Matthew 25); Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him (1 Timothy 5:1)
Idea(s) for Application: Read this book to a group of adults in your faith family who are planning a particular ministry for their senior adults or shut-ins.