Monday, August 14, 2017

PBT Series: Picture Book Classics #2

Here’s another one of my early posts that is worth sharing again. This little book is a treasure! It’s been in print for over 70 years and is typically read to very young children. In the post below, I suggest you consider a broader audience and give your faith family a chance to see the connections between this little guy's faith in a carrot seed and their own faith.  
Picture Book: The Carrot Seed
Author: Ruth Krauss
Illustrator: Crockett Johnson
Summary: This classic has a simple story but a powerful message about a lone boy’s faith in a carrot seed, which he planted and nurtures despite family members saying repeatedly, “It won’t come up.” Eventually the greens pop above the soil’s surface. Then the boy pulls a huge carrot out of the ground and loads it onto a wheel barrow. I wonder if he shared the carrot with his family. Ask your audience!
Hanna’s Comments: This picture book classic has a simple message of faith and nurturing that is universal and timeless. I think it should be in every toddler and preschooler’s library. Certainly it should be in your faith community’s nursery, preschool rooms, and community-wide library. Don't limit it's audience to just little ones. With elementary children and adults, use it as an intro. to a talk about naysayers and critics of faith and hope. Emphasize patience! Discuss the concept of tending your own personal faith like the boy nurtured his carrot seed. Point out that the carrot seed might have died had the boy not been so faithful to it. Ask: “What are some ways we “water” and “weed” our faith gardens?” Offer more personal examples of your faith practices. You might even describe your faith garden. Where is the beauty? What are the pests? How do you harvest and what do you glean from your faith garden?

You'll find a similar book with a more complicated plot and more text in a book by Pat Brisson and Maryann Cocca-Leffler. Wanda's Roses highlights a girl's determination to nurture a thorn bush in a vacant lot. She is sure it is a rose bush. She, and eventually some neighbors, clean up the lot. Through her many days of faithful hard work, Wanda keeps saying to naysayers the lot will be filled with roses. Wanda is right!
Publisher & Date of Publication: Harper & Row, 1945
Age & Grade Appropriateness: 4 and up, Pre and up
Formats other than Book: There are several videos to choose from including “Uncle Wally” Amos reading this book as a part of the Read it Loud library program on, Audio cassette
Scripture Connections: Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. (Matthew 13:8); If you have faith the size of a mustard seed (Matthew 17:20) 
Idea(s) for Application: Because the concept of faith is so abstract, children (and sometimes adults) have difficulty understanding it. This little book offers a delightfully simple, but profound explanation of faith that is easy to relate to. Read this book in a Sunday school or other small group context and explore the concept of faith and how to "tend" and "nurture" it. 

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