Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Hope for the Future via a Media Star


Picture Book: The World Needs Who You Were Made to Be

Author: Joanna Gaines

Illustrator: Julianna Swaney

Summary: In this beautiful book, life is explored as a metaphor, a hot balloon festival. A dozen or so children prepare to design, build, and launch their distinctive balloons into the great unknown of their future. First, Gaines emphasizes how the children do work differently. I especially like her point that some are teachers and all are learners. As the various balloons are launched into a crowded sky, Gaines points out it is their differences that make the sky (life) beautiful and interesting! The focus changes to what all the balloonists should do. She urges kindness, compassion, and courage, just to name a few. She urges each child to not hold back nor forget each is unique, needed, and gifted.

Hanna’s Comments: Like many of you, I met Joanna Gaines via the Fixer Upper TV show. Since then, she and her husband have built the influential Magnolia media empire. This book is a nice addition to her work. There are many connections to scripture since it is about the great hopes and possibilities of one person and a group of individuals. This would be a great book for a Sunday school teacher to read on the last day of teaching a group of children. Use it as a sort of exhortation and prayer that they each have agency in a better future for themselves and for the whole world. Call it their work for God's Kingdom/Kindom or the Reign of God, whichever language you prefer. Point out that it is this work that Jesus talked about most. For an OT reference, point out that it was for being this kind of blessing to the world that Abraham & Sarah were launched into their unknowns.

Original Publisher & Date: Thomas Nelson, 2020

Age Appropriateness: preschool and up

Scripture Connections: any scripture about being uniquely blessed for contribution (the boy who shared loaves & fishes, the Body of Christ) or trial (OT Joseph), being part of a beloved community (descriptions of the early church), and being oriented to love, commitment, and compassion (Jesus’ orientation)

PBT Applications: Read this book to a group of tweens who are about to start middle school. Connect it to Biblical heroes who face the unknown and are afraid and uncertain such as Ruth & Naomi, Jacob, and those walking to Emmaus.

No comments:

Post a Comment