Friday, February 25, 2022

Jez Alborough: Discoveries & Updates

Now and then, I update a post. Usually this happens when there is a sequel to a book I have here at PBT. I discovered that Jez Alborough's book about Bobo needing a hug has several sequels. Their beauty is evident, and their very limited vocabulary allows you to have some young children reading along. I have updated that post here. 

Here's another book from him that has obvious connections to scripture!

Picture Book: Duck's Key Where Can it Be?

Author/Illustrator: Jez Alborough

Summary: The story of this fun and simple book is in the title - something we can all relate to! Duck has a friend who is watching the search and making it more difficult, but Frog also brings in the humor. Lift the flaps to meet Frog!

Hanna’s Comments: This book is most appropriate for toddlers and preschoolers. but that's not what I write below in the Age Appropriateness line. Why? I never want to limit the use of picture books here at PBT. You know your audiences better than I do. You may have an older child, teen, or adult with cognitive delays or an elderly person with dementia. Those with dementia struggle with losing things often so this book would be very relatable. Keep the theology short and simple with these populations, such as saying, "God doesn't need to find you. God is always with you."

Original Publisher: Worthy Media, Inc.

Age Appropriateness: 2 and up

Formats other than Book: Like so many books since the pandemic, this book is read aloud in several YouTube videos. But do preview these. Quality can be quite bad! And don't forget to offer the theological connections. 

Scripture Connections: The Lost Parables of Luke 15

Here's my favorite book about being lost. It is by a favorite author/illustrator!

Baby Bear

For other fabulous PBT books by this favorite author/illustrator, simply go to the search box at the upper right and type in "Kadir". Such beautiful books!

Now back to Jez Alborough who has many books! Here are a couple more that are very fun! They are not a series, but they are both big books, an advantage for group reading!

Nat the Cat's Sunny Smile could be connected to the joy of the early church or joy found in many Psalms (like "the fullness of joy" referred to in Psalm 16:11).

Some Dogs Do is such an intriguing and mysterious story. It reminded me of a fabulous movie from 2013 - About Time. I hope you've seen it! Tie this book to the mysteries of God and the concept of faith. Your audience will be challenged and they will enjoy the story!

Thursday, February 17, 2022

The Spiritual Lives of Elephant & Piggie


A Sampling of Picture Book in This Series and Possible Godly Themes: 

A Big Guy Took My Ball! - Justice & Fear

Are You Ready to Play Outside? - Disappointment & Compassion

I Broke My Trunk! - Compassionate Listening

Can I Play Too? - Hospitality

Waiting Is Not Easy! - Advent Waiting

Should I Share My Ice Cream? - Generosity

My Friend Is Sad - Compassion

Author/Illustrator: Mo Willems 

Hanna’s Comments: Few series delight children and adults as much as Willems' books about Elephant & Piggie's friendship. Their love and devotion to each other are truly inspiring. What Willems can do with a  simple line for facial expressions astounds me. These books are both wise, funny, and heartrending. Often times, their problem-solving is very clever. It is always inspired by their love, particularly for each other, but sometimes for another character. There are usually many pages, but page texts are brief and the illustrations will even keep most toddlers engaged!

My favorite is such a pure example of creative and compassionate hospitality that it would benefit any church community, including adults! That book is above and featured in this PBT post. Below I have given you links to all Mo Willems books here at PBT and mentioned some others I have used in my PBT work. 

I also recommend his Pigeon (& Duckling) series for similar reasons. They are less about friendship and more about appropriate & inappropriate behavior. I believe religious settings are a perfect place for such lessons to be explored. There's a great deal in our scriptures about how to behave. You'll see scriptural connections to a couple of  books in this series below. 

Age Appropriateness: 3 and up

Formats other than Book: There will be many read-alouds on YouTube for Willems' books. Review before you use. Sometimes the quality is surprisingly bad! You may also find a video of the book in your library system or on-line.

Scripture Connections: I have connected these scriptural themes to Willems' books: (those with PBT Posts links listed first) Keep in mind that most of them connect to the Great Commandment.

Hospitality    Can I Play Too?

Waiting         Waiting Is Not Easy!

Feelings & Godly Compassion (2 Willems bks)  

        The Pigeon Has Feelings, Too    My Friend is Sad

Faith Questioning     Edwina 

Loss/Grief (The Pascal Mystery)    Knuffle Bunny 

Love    Leonardo the Terrible Monster

In my Trinity Treasures preschool lectionary-based curriculum, I've recommended the books above AND these:

I Love My New Toy!  

    I connected this to forgiving many times (Matt. 18)  

The Duckling Gets a Cookie!?

     This is listed in 3 lessons:

            10 Rules ( Exodus 20 - the Commandments)

            Mine! Mine! Mine! (James 3 & 4 about coveting)

            Zacchaeus' (Luke 19:1-10 about his greed)

Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! 

    This is recommended in 2 lessons:

            Good & Bad Choices (Genesis 3)

            10 Rules (Exodus 20 - the Commandments)

If you are interested in participating in a pilot study of Trinity Treasures, contact me. You will receive the lessons for free as long as you give me feedback.

Friday, February 4, 2022

PBT Series: Theme Lists - Books about Light

Light is one of the themes of Epiphany, the liturgical season after Christmas and before Lent. Here I explain how to use the helpful PBT search engine. There are 2 easy methods to access the large PBT archive with over 800 books tied to scripture.

1.      The easiest is to use the small search box in the upper right corner. Type in your key word i.e., Light.

2.     You’ll find a large list of search words at the bottom of your screen if viewing PBT on a large computer. If you’re on a phone, you must click on “view web version.” Then click on a word or phrase found under the comments of a post or at the bottom of the list of recent posts.

Below is a sampling of books found when I searched the word "light." For each entry, I give you the title and postdate. Click on the date. You’ll go to that book’s post. In at least 1 of the posts, I’ve updated it recently, adding a comparable book in the Hanna’s Comments section. The images you see in today's post are of a book recently added to an old PBT post. I'm sure you know, there are numerous scriptures about light in the Bible so I have not delineated them here!

I’d love a comment about any of these books that you’ve experienced. Perhaps you have ideas on how they can be used. Ask me a question, if you see a book that interests you but you aren’t sure how to use it at your home, a classroom, a spiritual direction session, or with your family of faith.

This Little Light of Mine by Lewis  8/29/16

When God Made Light 7/27/18

Lightship 12/21/14

Let There Be Light 8/21/17

You Are My Sunshine 3/19/15

God is Like ... (2 books) 3/24/17

The Very Lonely Firefly 6/8/14

One Light, One Sun 8/17/18

Where the Sunrise Begins 10/14/16

What Makes a Rainbow? 3/22/15

Let It Shine 12/7/14

Star Stuff 2/9/15

A Beautiful Moon 1/18/15

Stars 12/6/14

Owl Moon 6/15/14