Monday, January 8, 2018

Who (and Whose) Will You Be in 2018?

Picture Book: Winter Dance
Author: Marion Dane Bauer
Illustrator: Richard Jones
Summary: This beautiful picture book begins with a fox wondering what he should do after a snowflake falls. 
He seeks advice from his neighbors. When a caterpillar suggests building a cocoon so he can later fly, the fox says, "I'm not meant to fly." 
A turtle suggests that he go for a swim, 
and a bat suggests he check out a cave, but the fox isn't interested. 
When he is interrupted by an acorn, he finds a squirrel who strongly suggests some acorn gathering, 
but when you don't even like acorns, that doesn't make sense. 
This pattern continues with geese, 
a snowshoe hare, 
and a black bear.
The fox doesn't like any of their suggestions. 
When the wind hushes him, he settles in and listens. Snowflakes tickle his nose. Eventually he hears a whistle 
- a new friend with golden eyes. She knows just what he can do! 
When the world is full of falling snowflakes, 
a fox must join their tumbling and turning. Our fox agrees and dances with his new companion. 
Then they settle in together for some warm cuddling and sleep. 
Hanna’s Comments: At its center, this book is about discerning how to praise God authentically. Worship can be a very personal act, and here you have two foxes responding authentically to celebrate the beauty of the snow. In the author's byline, it explains that she was inspired to write this tale when she learned that foxes dance in the winter time. What fun! This book is also about finding a partner, someone who can help you discover who you are and what is yours to do, in essence how to respond to the world. Themes of change and the coming of a new year are here as well. A few weeks ago, I posted about a Christmas book with a lot of connections to this one. Check out that post [here].
Original Publisher & Date: HMH, 2017
Age & Grade Appropriateness: 4 and up, Pre and up
Formats other than Book: Tablet
Scripture Connections: Miriam and other women dancing after the parting of the Red Sea (Exodus 15: 20); Let them praise God with dancing (Psalm 149:3); A time to weep… and a time to dance (Ecclesiastes 3:4); Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind (Romans 12:2a)
Idea(s) for Application: Read this book to a group of children, teens or adults during a lesson about worship, discernment, or authenticity.