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 begins doing likewise. 
As they ride the subway, they are willing to risk kindness and connection. 
They find that these small acts help them overcome their fears and connect them to each other and the people of their world. 
The news of violence and hate doesn't end though. 
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 the local grocery store where they see the bounty and diversity of our world. 
The little girl realizes that the people she has seen on the screen don't tell her about one person or one family or one race or people. 
Once home, the ritual of setting the table is helpful to her as is the company of her parents and her dog as she eats her meal.
She becomes inspired! She asks if she can walk the dog so she can do something on her own to make the world better. 
Her parents consider this. It's risky. 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, across the hall a boy 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 out of their homes. 
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. 
They learn that even small gestures matter to the world. 
And everyone's small contributions matter too. They can even come together for more goodness.
Then the author speaks to the reader, "Your part matters, too. Come with me."
Hanna’s Comments: This timely story is a proclamation that hiding in fear and homogeneity is not going to make our divided world better. Here adults will be reminded that children watch everything we do. When we're out in the world, we are modeling our approach to the world. I love it's simplicity because these small acts are doable, goodness in small and hopeful ways. Think of it as a clarion call to action for children that will be heard by adults who need reassurance that simple gestures (the ones they can fit into their busy lives) matter too. The author & illustrator offers a dedication, saying 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! I've just offered a sampling below. 
Original Publisher & Date: Putnam’s, 2017
Age & Grade Appropriateness: 5 and up, K and up
Formats other than Book: Tablet
Scripture Connections: Learn to do good; seek justice; correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless; plead the widow’s cause. (Isaiah 1:17); Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. (Romans 12:9); The Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12 & Ephesians 4); 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.