Monday, November 7, 2016

Journeying with an Idea

 Picture Book: What Do You Do with an Idea?
Author: Kobi Yamada
Illustrator: Mae Besom
Summary: “One day I had an idea,” begins this intriguing book. 
The idea, represented by this character, is fun to watch. 
The child struggles with what to do with the idea. 
Avoid it? Deny its existence? 
Be confused by it? Worry about what others will think? 
Feel ashamed of it? Risk feeding it? Play with it? 
Give it lots of attention? Show it to others? Claim it?
Give up on it? Abandon it? 
With each possibility, an illustration gives you much to consider. 
As the child attends to the idea, it grows and transforms. 
It’s influence on the child becomes obvious. The child says, “I couldn’t imagine my life without it.” 
Eventually the idea transforms in a big way. 
Taking flight, its no longer just a part of the child but a part of everything. 
Hanna’s Comments: I see 2 different approaches when using this book in ministry. The 1st is inspired by Anne Lamott’s conversion experience described in Traveling Mercies. In her gritty writing, Lamott describes Jesus as a little kitten that follows her for days. Eventually with very colorful language, she tells the cat it can enter her home. In this context “the idea” is a new step in faith. 
Biblical connections abound; think Abraham, Hannah, or Paul.  My 2nd approach is inspired by Elizabeth Gilbert in Big Magic in which she personifies her creative ideas (& fears). How does this connect with scripture? There are numerous stories in which characters’ inspirations grow (Esther, The Magi),
some more other-worldly than others (The Men Walking to Emmaus, Philip & the Ethiopian, Peter’s Tablecloth Dream). This book is so rich with meaning; look for it in my PBT Grab & Go Series eventually. First have your audience think of an idea they once had. 
Read the book without showing the illustrations. Then discuss personal connections. Read it again, while showing and relating the illustrations to their own idea journeys. 
If they don’t give their comments a spiritual framing, you do that. Relate the book and/or their comments to one of the Bible stories listed below or ask for their own connections to scripture. There is now a sequel to this fun book, What Do You Do with a Problem? I’ll post about it after the holidays. Yay!
Original Publisher & Date: Compendium, 2013
Age & Grade Appropriateness: 5 and up, K and up
Formats other than Book: None at present
Scripture Connections:  Abraham’s conversion, Hannah’s prayer for a child, Esther’s choice to approach the king, The Magi's journey to Bethlehem, Men Walking to Emmaus, Paul’s conversion, Philip & the Ethiopian, Peter’s Tablecloth Dream, etc.
Idea(s) for Application: Read the story to a group of teenagers who are trying to discern post-high school decisions or a group of entrepreneurs who are exploring a vocation.