Monday, April 2, 2018

Resurrection Turtles

Today I showcase 2 secular books about resurrection. (Well, they’re really about hibernation.) These 2 books are very similar so I’m offering them together. They are delightful but deep. Your audience might never look at turtles the same!
 
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Picture Book: Alfie (The Turtle That Disappeared)
Author & Illustrator: Thyra Heder
Hanna's Comments & Summary: My favorite aspect of this story is how it switches points of view in the middle. At a pet store on her 6th birthday, Nia falls for Alfie. Apparently, Alfie is 6 too so they are perfect for each other.  
Alfie is crazy about Nia but he's not so great at displaying enthusiasm for their relationship. This disappoints Nia who is very focused on Alfie at first. 
She introduces him to her friends. 
 
Decorating, dancing, stories, jokes, and presents are Nia's way of showing her love, but...  
Alfie doesn't do much until Nia's 7th birthday when Alfie's voice tells us how special Nia is
and describes her loving ways. 
She makes him a wonderful home. 
 He's so glad to know he's 6 too! And he loves dancing (inside his shell!). 
Apparently, Alfie laughs and laughs!
When Nia tells Alfie they are soon going to be 7 together, he gets excited! He must get her a gift.
The hidden puzzle piece is too fuzzy. 
Toby strongly suggest going outside where the best presents are.
Getting to the ground via a fire escape is quite a daring adventure that yields no obvious present. 
A fabulous blue cap is found, but it's too small for Nia. 
Discouraged, Alfie decides to rest. A nice pond is recommended by a snail. 
 Alfie naps while the seasons change...
 and change.
When he wakes, he finds the perfect present for Nia's 7th birthday, a turtle key chain. 
 Alfie "rushes" to Nia's party and is "right on time."  
He sees that Nia is surprised he's brought her such a perfect present now that they are 7 together!
This beautiful story is inspired by the author's real pet Alfie and a friend's pet turtle. From the Author's Note: The lucky thing about turtles is their lifespan is long enough for you to fall back in love with them.  
Original Publisher & Date: Abrams, 2017
Age & Grade Appropriateness: 4 and up, Pre and up
Formats other than Book: Tablet
Scripture Connections: Any scripture about resurrection, renewed relationships, gift giving, or misunderstanding. 
Idea(s) for Application: Read this book to a group of children or adults in a lesson about resurrection or misunderstanding in relationships. 

Picture Book: Turtle Spring
Author & Illustrator: Deborah Turney Zagwyn
Summary & Hanna's Comments: I love this initial illustration which gives you a hint that the there are several layers to this story of seasons and beginnings in particular. There is also a science lesson in these pages about the work and gifts of compost.   
When Clee's baby brother comes, she loves having extended family over but... 
not the attention they give the baby. 
 Fortunately, her uncle brings Clee a present. 
Clee enjoys the turtle and keeps it in a compost heap near the sandbox. The turtle is good company when Clee's father has to go away for work. 
When the cold comes, Clee's mother suggests she bring the turtle inside, but Clee resists. The house if full of baby brother! Then Clee forgets. 
A feeling of forgetting brings Clee outside where she remembers her turtle and feels so guilty that she didn't bring it inside. She finds the turtle shell and is heartbroken.   
Clee confesses to her mother and tells how she buried the turtle in a deep hole in the compost heap. 
Winter has Clee and mother missing their loved ones. The house "grew a shell of snow" with only the baby happy and lively. 
Clee's relationship with her brother transforms. You might say it comes alive!
As they play, Clee avoids the place of the turtle's burial. 
Spring comes with promises that her father will be home soon. 
Eventually, Clee must take her brother to the sandbox, but she is wary. 
She tries to avoid looking at the compost pile but sees movement... 
 Baby brother sees the turtle first.    
All are thrilled! A Note to the Reader at the end explains how the compost heap is a perfect place for turtle hibernation.
Original Publisher & Date: Tricycle Press, 2004
Age & Grade Appropriateness: 5 and up, K and up
Formats other than Book: None at present
Scripture Connections: Connect this book to scriptures about resurrection, seasons, surprises, absence, guilt, and transformation in relationship.
Idea(s) for Application: Read this book to a group of children or adults in a lesson about resurrection, waiting, seasonal changes, or transformation in relationships.