Friday, March 9, 2018

PBT Redux #21 Waiting for Spring & Easter

Today I post again about a picture book that is perfect for children just before spring and during the season of Lent, the liturgical season before Easter. 
Picture Book: Waiting for Wings
Author & Illustrator: Lois Ehlert
Summary: In clever verse, bold shapes, and interesting paper cuts, Lois Ehlert depicts the entire life cycle of 4 different kinds of butterflies. Beginning as tiny eggs hidden among the leaves of plants, these 4 creatures change form into caterpillars, build their cocoons, and become butterflies ready to lay eggs. This book may look simple (and sideways) from the cover, but the amount of information you'll find here is amazing! 
Hanna’s Comments: This picture book offers scientific concepts in an appealing context. Find in the back identifying tips for the 4 butterflies and the many flowers that star in this book, general butterfly information, and instructions on planting a butterfly garden. The butterfly has often been used as a metaphor for spiritual transformation. Even young children can begin to see the connections between changes over time in humans and how butterflies evolve. Because they are growing so rapidly and learning new skills, the idea of transformation is not foreign to young children. Also, the symbol of the cocoon and transformation to new life as a butterfly are natural metaphors for Lent (the 40 days before Easter). This book can help you explain to even the youngest children the symbolic darkness and ritual sacrifices of the Lenten season.
Publisher & Date of Publication: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 2001
Age & Grade Appropriateness: 4 and up, Pre and up
Formats other than Book: Audio, In the video collection: Click, Clack, Moo: Cows that Type and More Amusing Animal Tales.
Scripture Connections: In general, this book connects to any Bible character for which there is great transformation such as Joseph (in Genesis), disciples such as Matthew (in the Gospels), the woman at the well (in John), Saul/Paul (in Acts), and Jesus (in the Easter story). The way in which a caterpillar cocoons and then becomes a butterfly also connects metaphorically to the seasons of Lent and Easter.
Idea(s) for Application: Use the book above and the author’s partner book about a rainbow of plants [here] to celebrate God’s creative diversity by connecting the butterflies and plants to various people in your faith community. With permission, talk about transformations that person has experienced. Then have the children color or draw that butterfly/plant and present their depiction to the person.