Friday, August 3, 2018

PBT Redux #24 - Is This Panama?


Picture Book: Is This Panama? A Migration Story

Author: Jan Thornhill

Illustrator: Soyeon Kim

Summary: Sammy, a young warbler, has heard wonderful descriptions of Panama from other warblers. He is excited about his first migration from near the Arctic Circle all the way to Panama, but then he discovers the other warblers have migrated without him. Being so young, Sammy doesn’t know the route, but he is determined so he sets off with a willingness to ask for directions from other creatures along the way. Although Sammy enjoys these interactions, the other creatures steer him wrongly. After taking a much longer route and feeling discouraged, Sammy finally makes it to Panama.

Hanna’s Comments: I love it when authors put maps in their books! This book has a great map in the back that shows you Sammy’s route, the route warblers regularly take, and the location of the creatures he meets along the way. You may want to refer to the map as you read. You’ll also find a list of facts about each creature and a section on how animals migrate. Adults joke about women being more willing to ask for directions than men, but truthfully asking for help is not a bad thing, especially if you do so of someone who is invested in you. If you view this book as a metaphor for personal journeys, spiritual or otherwise, this book offers opportunities to talk about being steadfast, interdependent, and vulnerable, while also gleaning wisdom from mentors in your faith community. Consider connecting this book to stories in the Bible with characters who are lost or misguided; thankfully, there are plenty of those very human characters. 

Publisher & Date of Publication:  Owl Kids Books, 2013

Age & Grade Appropriateness: 5 and up, K and up

Formats other than Book: None at present

Scripture Connections: Fear not, for I am with you (Isaiah 41:10); look not only to your own interests but also to the interests of others (Philippians 2:4); do not neglect to do good and to share what you have (Hebrews 13:16)

Idea(s) for Application: Our church sends a mission team to Panama each summer. This book was recently used in a children’s program about the mission team’s expected journey and purposes. Whenever a team from your faith community goes to another part of the world, consider using picture books about the location to teach your children about what your faith community is doing elsewhere and why.