Friday, October 27, 2017

PBT God Books #6

One of my newest series is to repost about my PBT God books. God books are picture books that explore the nature of God. Some are secular, with allusions to God that are not obvious. Most, like the book below, have God as their subject. When mentioning God books, I use Old Turtle as an example. It’s a very popular book from the 1990s, but many people don’t know about the two other books in the series. I'll post about them next week! Check out all three books. There are many ministry applications for they are rich with provoking ideas about humans, God, and God's intentions for Earth. 
Picture Book: Old Turtle
Author: Douglas Wood
Illustrator: Cheng-Khee Chee
Summary: Long ago the animals & other inhabitants of Earth argue about God. Each attributes to God characteristics like themselves. The wind argues that God is never still. Then the rock insists that God never moves. The lion describes God as a hunter. The robin claims that God is gentle. Eventually, Old Turtle stops the arguing, offering a description of God that incorporates all the previous ideas and ends simply with “God is.” Old Turtle forewarns of a new animal coming who would be even more like God. Humans do come, but they forget to be like God. When the humans argue about God, they use their power to hurt others and the Earth. A new response comes from the other Earth inhabitants who declare God’s presence in a variety of sources. After a lonely and scary time, the people listen and even begin to see God in one another and the beauty that surrounds them. Old Turtle and God smile.
Hanna’s Comments: This is a fabulous fable exploring ecological responsibility, peace, and our human legacy as being made in God’s image. Interconnections with other inhabitants of Earth are emphasized. Look for posts about the other  two books featuring Old Turtle's wisdom to follow on PBT next week! For you music lovers, a choral symphony has been written based on this picture book.  Rabbi Sandy Eisenberg Sasso has written a similar book titled In God’s Name. I highly recommend it as well. It is published by Jewish Lights, a publisher of books for “Peoples of all Faiths, All Backgrounds.”
Publisher & Date of Publication: Scholastic, 1991
Age and Grade Appropriateness: 6 and up, 1st and up
Formats other than Book: Tablet, Youtube video
Scripture Connections: Humans are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27), I am that I am (Exodus 3:14)
Idea(s) for Application: Read this book before taking a group of children from your faith community to a zoo or in a lesson exploring ecology or being made in God's image.