Friday, July 7, 2017

PBT Techniques #7 - Flip-Flopping

One of the benefits of PBT is bringing a high-quality secular story to audiences of faith. Encouraging connections between that story and scripture boosts faithful responses for several reasons. Check out my Picture Books in Ministry tab for more about this. There is so much below the surface of these secular picture books!
Children's literature is getting better and better! Some stories are so good, you want your audience to explore them thoroughly, like the PBT book I'm featuring today. This new picture book (likely to become a classic), has so much to offer I encourage you to do what I call the PBT Flip-Flop, which involves finding the connections in opposite aspects of the story. I explain more in my comments below. It's amazingly simple.
Picture Book: Hattie & Hudson
Author & Illustrator: Chris Van Dusen
Summary: Hattie lives near a beautiful lake, and she loves to explore it every morning.
On this particular morning, Hattie sings in her canoe. A huge creature, who usually stays hidden deep within the lake, must investigate Hattie’s lovely song. 
When the creature surfaces, Hattie is intrigued and keeps singing. 
After looking in the creature’s eyes, Hattie knows there is no reason to fear. The creature even hums along!
However, the others on the lake are terrified and the creature disappears into the waters. 
Both Hattie & the creature wonder if they will see each other again. That evening Hattie decides to try to meet. 
They do meet again. Hattie isn't afraid of the two eyes below the surface
or the creature's head when it emerges. She names her new friend Hudson. 
They play together all night and plan to meet again the next evening. 
The next day a meeting at The Town Hall is all about "getting rid of ...the Deadly Beast." 
When Hattie and Hudson meet again, Hattie explains the problem. Hudson surprises her with a bump of the canoe and a smile, then another bump and smile. Hattie understands. 
As her neighbors prepare to destroy the creature, Hattie paddles to the center of the lake and waits for Hudson. 
 Hudson gently overturns Hattie's canoe. 
Then Hattie's acting begins. She makes sure her screams of terror are heard by the neighbors. As expected, they jump in their boats to rescue her. 
Just as they get close, Hudson to the rescue! 
The neighbors all silently watch as Hudson lifts Hattie above the water. Then friendship is obvious. 
Hudson gently swims Hattie to the pier and places her there. 
Next, Hattie holds a meeting of her own. She introduces Hudson, declares him to be safe, and assures everyone that once they get to know him, he will be their friend too. A boy approaches, and eventually others befriend Hudson. 
People from far away come to meet and play with Hudson, the "famous friendly monster."  
But at night, it is just Hattie and Hudson.
Hanna’s Comments: If you can, make up a tune for Hattie’s song and sing it while reading. It will enhance this story experience. The PBT Flip-Flop method is to read the story and then have 2 very different (even opposite) conversations. With this book, I encourage you to ask your audience the 2 questions below. Ask the second question only after the first has been discussed.
How is God (or Jesus) like Hattie?
How is God (or Jesus) like Hudson?
Another way you can use this book is to encourage connections to the gospel story in which Jesus heals the man born blind who then must defend Jesus to the Pharisees. Simply ask your audience to find any connections between that gospel story and the picture book.
Original Publisher & Date: Candlewick Press, 2017
Age & Grade Appropriateness: 4 and up, Pre and up
Formats other than Book: None at present
Scripture Connections: Scriptures that tell us about the nature of God or Jesus; Jesus heals the man born blind (John 9:1-34)
Idea(s) for Application: Read this book to a group of tweens or older and ask them to find connections in ways described above in my comments.