Monday, May 29, 2017

Community as Tutorial for Peace

Picture Book: Peace is an Offering
Author: Annette LeBox
Illustrator: Stepanie Graegin 
Summary: These simple rhyming phrases explore the concept of peace via ordinary, loving gestures in a neighborhood setting, the place where young children would most understand peace. Generous acts like visiting and serving someone in need 
and enjoying God's gifts of nature with friends, instruct young children to notice how peace is abundant. 
This book explains in simple terms that gratitude and contemplation are important tools for peace, 
 as is affection 
 and being at table together.
This diverse community of children (and sometimes their parents) are shown engaging in thoughtful acts, 
companionship rituals, 
hospitality, 

 play,
and even strategic avoidance of violence.
 
You’ll find a reference to 9/11/01, but it is subtle and isn’t likely to be disturbing to young children.  
Hope and joy are interwoven in this text and the images are comforting.
 
Hanna’s Comments: These are fear-ridden times. Sometimes the loudest messages of fear come from faith families; young children often overhear these. Instead, I believe the place where children first worship and learn about God should be grounded in peace and love. We have many children riddled with anxiety. Their worship communities can address some of their fears and offer God's hope instead. The key to this heartwarming book are messages of abundance and calls to be sensitive to another’s needs while contemplating with gratitude the beauty of our world. Here be reminded that when loving acts occur, peace can be found. Opportunities for such acts are everywhere, especially in your neighborhood, but also with those you love most, like those in your faith family.
Original Publisher & Date: Dial, 2015
Age & Grade Appropriateness: 3 and up, Pre and up
Formats other than Book: Tablet
Scripture Connections: Give and it will be given to you(Luke 6:38); I came that you may have abundant life (John 10:10); …so far as it depends on you, live peaceable with all (Romans 12:18); may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing (Romans 15:13); the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:12); 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 to explore what peace looks like in community, school, home, or your faith family.