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.

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