From Far Away, Robert Munsch and Saoussan Askar, Annick Press, 2017.
For a number of years we have heard about the refugee crisis. Or, according to others, the immigrant crisis. We have seen the images of war torn areas that families are seeking refuge from. We have voiced outrage on social media when the most troubling images of children were brought to our attention.
But what about the children?
From Far Away provides such a perspective. Seven-year-old Saussan Askar writes a letter about leaving her war torn country and what life is like in her new country.
The Prayer Box, Jennifer Berry, Dog Ear Publishing, 2017.
Rosetta is a little girl who enjoys spending time with her mother. One day, her mother tells her about the little box that sits on her dresser. It is her prayer box.
Rosetta learns that prayer is a way of talking with God.
But, she is curious about what prayers her mother has put in her prayer box. Eventually, curiosity gets the best of her, and she peeks inside. She is surprised to find that none of the prayers in the box are for her.
Sleepless Nights and Kisses for Breakfast: Reflections on Fatherhood, Matteo Bussola, Penguin Group TarcherPerigee, 2017.
Fatherhood, I have learned in the past two years, is a true gift. Sure, there are moments when the whining and the fussing gets a little weary, but hey, we all whine and fuss, right? All of those moments are pushed to the shadows when your little girl climbs in your lap to give you a kiss. Or when she makes a joke and then laughs at herself.
Being a dad has been the best calling on my life.
And it’s one of those callings that you only realize how powerful it is until it happens. I remember church members telling me after it was announced that we were expecting, that my life would never be the same.
After a successful run of VeggieTales in the House, Bob the Tomato, Larry the Cucumber, and all the other Veggies are setting roots in the city. In the re-imagined VeggieTales in the City on Netflix, the Veggies are ready for a new set of adventures. All the while imparting valuable and inspirational lessons along the way.
The Thing Lou Couldn’t Do, Ashley Spires, Kids Can Press, 2017.
Lou is a brave girl who is afraid of very little. She will do anything!
Well, almost anything.
When her friends choose to climb a tree, Lou isn’t so sure. She is scared and uncertain. In addition, she is concerned that her friends will think differently of her because she’s not climbing the tree.
Even though she makes up some pretty fun excuses, her friends never mock or make fun of her. Lou decides on her own to join her friends by watching them have fun. She decides to try to climb the tree.
Sock Monster, Stacey R. Campbell, Green Darner Press, 2016.
Little Billy is a typical small child. He does not want to pick up after himself. When told he needs to pick up his laundry, he decides to hide the clothing under or in various parts of his room. In an effort to help Billy learn to clean up, his mother tells him a bedtime story about the Sock Monster.
Sock Monster is comical, at best. While there are elements of this story that could be scary for some children, Elizabeth Thieme’s illustrations remind the child and the parent that this is a fun story.
Just Like Jesus Storybook, Stephen Elkins, Wonder Kids, 2015.
This is a neat little storybook perfect for toddlers. It has a lightly padded cover, with bright colors on thick, slick pages. It is a book with a very clear purpose: build good character, as shown by Jesus. Never mind Aseop and his fables, we have Jesus to show us what perfect character looks like.
Each section of the book begins with a theme and a related Bible verse. Then, it guides children to consider different aspects of Jesus’ character with the intention of considering how we might be like Jesus. Some of the ways we can be just like Jesus is to be thankful, responsible, kind, and caring.
A sermon preached at Peakland United Methodist on Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:1-5 for Children’s Sabbath.
These are not always the first words used to describe a Vacation Bible School. You are more likely to hear words like loud, chaotic, messy. But that was not the chance at Peakland last week. While talking to Kristin, our VBS director at Peakland, she said, “My goal was for someone, somewhere, to have a spiritual experience.”
by Kara Byrne
Read Exodus 20:1-17.
I was a teacher before I was a parent, so you’d expect that I’d have this whole discipline/ behavior management thing figured out, right? Nope. The lines get blurry when they’re your own children. We’ve tried various techniques with varying results which has often left me wondering: what are the desired behaviors? What do we most want our children to portray? Well, that answer is actually pretty easy: loving God and loving others.
Guess what? Those are the exact desired behaviors that God established a few thousand years ago. It’s a shame I didn’t consider that first…