Friday, January 6, 2017

Journeying with a Problem

Picture Book: What Do You Do with a Problem?
Author: Kobi Yamada
Illustrator: Mae Besom
Summary: The same little fellow we enjoyed in What Do You Do with an Idea? (earlier post here) is now struggling with a problem. 
He didn’t ask for it. He didn’t like it at all. At first he ignored it, but the problem followed him. 
He feared it would swallow him up. He worried. A lot. 
Worrying about the problem didn’t make it go away. It made the problem bigger. 
He was afraid it would take away his things? 
Hiding from the problem didn’t work. It always found him. 
He saw the problem everywhere, and thought about it all the time. Eventually he found the courage to face the problem. 
Even though he was afraid, he tackled the problem. 
Then he realized that inside that problem was a beautiful opportunity, 
an opportunity to learn and grow and be brave. 
Now he knows that “every problem has an opportunity for something good. 
You just have to look for it.”
Hanna’s Comments: What I especially enjoy about these 2 books by Yamada & Besom are their illustrations. They are so emotionally powerful that we relate in a way that stirs up vivid memories of how we mishandled ideas and problems in the past. This book gets to the heart of fear. Notice how the community of animals is affected by the character's strategies for dealing with (or not dealing with) the problem. Talk about this and how indecision affects others we love. Teaching about the power of prayer when we are confused or afraid is a privilege. You are offering a skill, a strategy, a practice that can last a lifetime and be transformative. Be sure to offer some personal examples of your prayerful problem solving. Don't be afraid to talk about discernment. Children get that listening to God throughout their day is best and comforting.
Original Publisher & Date: Compendium, 2016
Age & Grade Appropriateness: 4 and up, K and up
Formats other than Book: None at present
Scripture Connections: Do not be anxious about your life… (Matthew 6:25-34); all things work together for good (Romans 8:28); don’t be anxious about anything but in everything let your requests be made known to God (Philippians 4:6)
Idea(s) for Application: Read this book to a group of children, teens, or adults in a lesson on problem solving through prayer or the heavy burden of worry and denial.