Friday, October 6, 2017

Are you Coming?

This brand-new picture book is about empowering positive responses to the anger and hatred we see in media. It will prompt meaningful faith-based conversations with children and adults about how together our small actions will make a difference. This story ends with an invitation to you!
Picture Book: Come with Me
Author: Holly M. McGhee
Illustrator: Pascal Lemaitree
Summary: A little girl is fearful while watching the stream of news. The anger and hatred that she sees - "people against people"- is troubling.
She asks her papa how she could help. His response? "Come with me." They go to the subway. 
While there, the girl notices her father tips his hat to everyone he meets so she does the same. 
As they ride the subway, they are willing to risk kindness and connection. 
These small acts help them overcome their fears and connect them to each other and the people in the world. 
The news of violence and hate doesn't end. 
The girl turns to her mama next, asking how to make the world better. 
 
Her mama says, "Come with me." This time the journey is to their local grocery store where they see the bounty and diversity of our world. 
The little girl realizes that a person she has seen on the screen doesn't tell her about one person or one family or one race or one people. 
Once home, the ritual of setting the table and eating a meal are grounding to her as is the company of her parents and her dog.
She becomes inspired and more confident! She asks if she can walk her dog so she can do something on her own to make the world better. 
Her parents consider this. It's risky, but they decide to let her go, another sort of message to the world - a refusal to live in fear. 
Just as the little girl exits, a neighbor asks where she is going. 
She decides two people are better than one. Like her parents, she offers an invitation, "Come with me." 
He does come and together they discover that it's good to be outside. 
They see the world is not so bad. All living things deserve their bravery, gentleness, strength, and kindness.  
They see simple ways they can respond with goodness 
and learn that even small gestures matter to the world. 
Everyone's small contributions matter too. They can even come together for more goodness.
To end the young hero speaks to the reader, "Your part matters, too. Come with me."
Hanna’s Comments: This timely story proclaims that hiding in fear and homogeneity is not going to make our divided world better. It's a clarion call to action for children that will be heard by adults who will be reminded that children watch what they do and mimic their approaches to the world. I love that these small acts are doable - goodness in simple and hopeful ways. It's reassuring to consider how simple gestures matter too. The author & illustrator offer a dedication explaining that this book was written "in honor of friendship, bravery, and the fact that we aren't powerless, no matter how small and insignificant we may feel." The scripture connections are so many! 
Original Publisher & Date: Putnam’s, 2017
Age & Grade Appropriateness: 5 and up, K and up
Formats other than Book: Tablet
Scripture Connections: Diversity in Creation (Genesis 1:20-25); Learn to do good; seek justice; correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless; plead the widow’s cause. (Isaiah 1:17); We are the work of your hand (Isaiah 64:8); The grounding of rituals (Matthew 7:24-25); Jesus says, "Come follow me." (Matthew 4:19); Parable of the Mustard Seed (Matthew 13:31-32); Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. (Romans 12:9); Extend hospitality to strangers (Romans 12:13b); Diversity in The Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:15-19); Who is wise and understanding among you? By your good conduct show works in the meekness of wisdom. (James 3:13)
Idea(s) for Application: Read this book to begin a conversation with your faith family about responses to anger, hatred, and violence in our world. This book would be especially great for parents of young children.