Monday, February 20, 2017

Body Part Thanksgiving


Picture Book: All of Me: A Book of Thanks
Author & Illustrator: Molly Bang
Summary: Various body parts are celebrated by a small, very grateful boy while his tolerant cat looks on.
From feet 
to heart, 
this little guy delights in all the many ways his anatomy helps him. Here’s a couple of favorites:
When I sit down, I sit on my good bottom. Thank goodness!                                 AND
I smell with my …nose. So many different smells!
(And sometimes my nose rubs other noses.)
When listening ears are explored, lots of sounds are mentioned as well as…
At end, he declares that today he did so many things and felt so many feelings. Then he lists them, ending with feeling thankful and calm. 
One double page spread shows his family of 3 plus cat that feels “loving and perfectly safe."   
The last bit of text has this wonderful boy declaring that he is part of this whole universe, his home, and it is all "inside all of me! What a wonder." What a wonder indeed.
Hanna’s Comments: Celebrating bodies and exploring feelings are such good experiences for young children. Between the lines, add some statements declaring God to be the giver of those body parts and feelings. Just a simple refrain of “Thank you, God!” works great. Write on and insert Post-its if needed. Easy peasey!
In my PBT series, 12 Theological Statements for Young Children (check the 1st post in the series [here]), I encourage inserting particular statements as you read. This book directly relates to statement #3 (God gave you a great body to do great things.) but you can make up your own simple statements.   
If your children are old enough and you are Christian, connect the last few pages to the theological concept of The Body of Christ. At the end of the reading, help your children offer prayers of praise, thanksgiving, and even silence (for prayers of wonder) for their various body parts while celebrating them with quick body prayers.
In my PBT post last Friday, I encouraged you to incorporate art experiences into your ministry with children. The art in this book is so unusual, incorporating traditional paintings finished at the base with crayon lines. This technique is very child friendly. It will easily inspire some art experiences. Suggested materials are even shown on the end papers. The design harkens to a handmade book. At the end, you’ll find a section on how to make your own book and what the Molly Bang did to create the art for this book.
This book needs to be read with joy, gratitude, and lots of movement, just like the child at the center. Speaking of feelings, I'm a big fan of Molly Bang's books about Sophie and her feelings. Check out my post on those 2 picture book treasures [here].
Original Publisher & Date: Blue Sky Press, 2009
Age & Grade Appropriateness: 2 and up, Toddler and up
Formats other than Book: None at present
Scripture Connections: Oh give thanks to the Lord (Psalm 107:1); For it was you who formed my inmost parts…I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made… (Psalm 139: 13-15); every good gift and every perfect gift is from above (James 1:17)
Idea(s) for Application: Read this book to a group of young children while helping them be explicitly thankful to God through word and movement.