Monday, April 30, 2018

Fruit of the Spirit: Faithfulness

Picture Book: Mama Always Comes Home
Author: Karma Wilson
Illustrator: Brooke Dyer
Summary: Young children will love this reassuring story in verse. It has at its core various animal mothers who are faithful to their children. They must briefly leave those they love most, but then they joyfully return. The book begins with baby birds protesting when Mother Bird must fly away.  
Despite the protests, she must retrieve a worm for herself and her babies. 
She returns with food, demonstrating her steadfast love and devotion. 
Mama Cat can't stay snuggled,
she must feed herself to sustain her milk 
 and snuggle in again. 
When a round of puppy play with Mama is interrupted by a call, 
the pups whine for her to stay. She suggests a nap 
and bounds to her human boy for another sort of play.
Later, she gladly returns to her puppies.
Even Mama Dolphin, 
Mama Chipmunk, 
 Mama Chimpanzee,
 Mama Polar Bear,  
Mama Gopher, 
Mama Mole, 
and Mama Pony must leave their little ones for a time. 
For Mamas all over the world have to go away. 
But they hurry to return to those they love most. 
Human Mama gives a hug and explains it's time for her to go. 
Daddy and child watch her leave, anticipating her return 
because Mamas always come home.   
Hanna’s Comments: When choosing PBT books, it is important to consider the experiences and family situations of those in your audience. This book offers a message you might expect all children will relate to positively, but the truth is not all mamas (or daddies) come home and not all children are primarily raised by their mamas. The last thing you want is to alienate or confuse a child so choose wisely. Also, offer a reminder that even when Mama (or Daddy or a Grandparent) is away, God is always with them. Such reminders may seem too advanced for very young children, but such reassurances will become a part of their self-talk if heard often. If this book is too juvenile for your group, forget about a book and offer older children the idea of instinctual parental love across animal species as examples of faithfulness, including humans. Older kids will have no trouble thinking of evidence in the animal kingdom. They will enjoy sharing stories found in popular media or their own first-hand observations. Then they can meaningfully transfer to their own home situations. If you want to read a picture book, stories of faithful parents abound or look for other PBT books about faithfulness in the search engine below this post or in the window in the upper right corner.  
Original Publisher & Date: Harper Collins, 2005
Age & Grade Appropriateness: 2 and up, Toddler and up
Formats other than Book: None at present
Scripture Connections: In addition to The Fruit of the Spirit verses in Galatians 5:22-23… A faithful person will abound with blessings (Proverbs 28:20); One who is faithful in very little is also faithful in much (Luke 16:10)
Idea(s) for Application: Read this book to a group of young children in your faith family when introducing the concept of faithfulness or devotion.

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