Friday, May 12, 2017

PBT Redux Series #10 - Yo! Yes?

It’s time for another repeated post about 1 of the 600 or so picture books I’ve featured here at PBT the last 3 years. Yo! Yes? was featured in the early days of this PBT website when I offered A Picture Book a Day for a Year. This book is amazing for its mass appeal. Because it has so few words, young children will understand it. And the subtleties of language (verbal & especially nonverbal) and focus on hospitality make it worthy of a spiritual conversation for children of any age.
I’m not including it in my PBT Grab & Go Series because using it in ministry will require you to spend some time deciding what aspects of the spiritual practice of hospitality you will want to highlight and how to connect them to the words and illustrations. This book is one of many PBT books in which I’ve written lessons suitable for age 4 through 11. Let me know via a comment if you’re interested in purchasing that lesson or seeing a list of other books with lessons. I charge only $4 per lesson (sent electronically).
Picture Book: Yo! Yes?
Author & Illustrator: Chris Raschka
Summary: A light-skinned boy, who is dressed up, passes a dark-skinned boy who is willing to risk a conversation. “Yo!” he says. The passing boy says, “Yes?” and their relationship begins. Cleverly, their conversation is rich in meaning even though it is comprised of only 1 or 2 word interactions, only 34 unique words in all!
Hanna’s Comments: The risks of initial interaction and the building of friendship are the themes here. The professional video of this book (check your library) is particularly appealing because music and a basketball are added. Also, the gestures of the two characters and their intonation help you interpret the simple conversation. It’s amazing how so few words can evoke hospitality, timidity, trust, and satisfaction leading to a budding friendship. Note that despite their different races, postures, and dress, their relationship blossoms. You might want to consider having the children act out the story several times since the conversation is so simple and fun. If you’re looking for a Spanish language book, this book could be easily translated because it has so few words. Consider having two languages in your reading, the dark-skinned character speaking English and the lighter-skinned character speaking Spanish. Homeschool or private school teachers, pay attention to the end marks of each sentence. There’s potential for a basic punctuation lesson here.
PBT Lesson Available: I've written a church lesson for children based on this book. Contact me via a comment if you're interested in purchasing it for just $4!
Original Publisher & Date: Scholastic, 1993
Age & Grade Appropriateness: 4 and up, Pre and up
Formats other than Book: Video, Audible, Audio CD
Scripture Connections: Jesus and the bent-over woman (Luke 13:10-17); Jesus and Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1-10)
Idea(s) for Application: I think this book connects well with 2 gospel stories (listed above) in which Jesus initiates interactions with outsiders. Use this book when considering themes of initiating relationships in your faith community, especially with those who are different or on the outside.