Jason C. Stanley

ponderings of a dad walking humbly & seeking justice

Tag: diversity

Book Review: Riley Can Be Anything

Riley Can Be Anything, Davina Hamilton, The Ella Riley Group, 2017.

Do you remember in grade school being asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” It was a fun question designed to get us to think about vocation. There were lofty dreams of going to space or being a vet or a firefighter.

The question would come again during high school and college as we inched closer to the “real world.” It was a question that could be a stressor in its own right.

To be honest, I never felt like, “I don’t know,” was an acceptable answer.

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Book Review: Who Counts?

Who Counts? 100 Sheep, 10 Coins, and 2 Sons, Amy-Jill Levine & Sandy Eisenberg Sasso, Westminster John Knox Press, 2017.

 Fred Craddock, a New Testament scholar, refers to the three “lost” parables in Luke 15 as “Three Parables of Joy.” He writes, “The three parables of chapter 15 are a trilogy in that all three speak of the joy of finding that which was lost.”

Amy-Jill Levine, a professor of New Testament and Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt Divinity School, and Sandy Eisenberg Sasso, a rabbi and Director of Religion, Spirituality and the Arts Initiative at Bulter University and Christian Theological Seminary, give readers a fresh take on the familiar parables in Luke 15 in Who Counts? These stories of Jesus are retold in modern-day settings and with modern, diverse characters.

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Giveaway: Love You Always book

Love You Always, written by Eileen Spinelli with illustrations by Gillian Flint, is the latest gift book for new babies or for Christmas. The verses are gentle and the repetition is soothing. The book aims to communicate to the child that he or she is loved – always – but a host of family members. Mostly by Mama and Daddy.

But other family members are included. Grandma, Grandpa, Auntie, and Uncle. Counsin and family friend even get a shout out. At first, this inclusion of extended family members is great. It is often rare to see Auntie and Uncle included in a children’s book. While the book seems to include a lot of the family tree, there is no inclusion of siblings or step-parents.

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Book Review: Stop Feedin’ da Boids!

31423679Stop Feeding’ da Boids!, James Sage, Kids Can Press, 2017

Swanda is new to Brooklyn. If you have ever been to Brooklyn, you will know that it is full of diversity, thick accents, and pigeons. Lots and lots of pigeons. Swanda, a compassionate little girl, sets up some feeding stations on her fire escape to feed the birds.

And it works. The birds come!

Things get a little chaotic on the city block with all the birds. The cooing assembly leaves their mark on the sidewalks and neighbors. The reality of what is happening reveals itself in a double-page spread featuring the amazing talent of illustrator Pierre Pratt. In vibrant pastels the reader is faced with an array of birds, feathers, and round, yellow eyes against the accents of the fast-moving city life.

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Quote: We Have Done Hard Things


The Tigger Movie (2000)

The_Tigger_Movie_filmSince 1961 when Walt Disney bought the rights to A. A. Milne’s children’s book Winnie the Pooh, Disney has had a steady line of featurettes and television films. The Tigger Movie is the first feature film bringing to another generation Winnie-the-Pooh, Tigger, Rabbit, and Piglet too.

The film is the story of Tigger wanting to do what Tiggers do best: bounce. But no one wants to bounce with him, because they are all preparing for the coming winter. Tigger begins to wonder what it would be like to have a family of Tiggers just like him. Roo tries his best to cheer Tigger up, but to no avail. The group of stuffed friends decide to craft a letter to Tigger from his family. Upon receiving the letter, Tigger is overwhelmed with joy, which makes Roo very happy. But then Tigger starts talking about his family coming to visit, and the group gets nervous.

They design costumes and dress up to look like Tigger and pretend to be Tigger’s family. But when Tigger finds out that they are all wearing masks and costumes, he becomes disappointed again. And so, he sets out, once more, looking for his family tree.

The film’s main downfall is that it tries to be like Aladdin, with the songs and Tigger morphing into various pop culture icons. But the Pooh stories are Aladdin-like. What the movie lacks is an appeal to charm children.

Even so, the theme of family is a strong and rich one in this film. While Tigger is lonely because there are no other Tiggers in the Hundred Acre Wood, he does learn by the movie’s end that his stuffed friends make a family, even Rabbit. We don’t have to look or act alike to be family. Especially when it comes to the family of God. Diversity, in the many forms that it takes, is a rich addition to any family. Throughout the Old Testament, we see evidence of God teaching the Israelites to be welcoming to aliens, those who are different from them. Ruth, for example, was welcomed into the family of God even though she was a Moabite, and would become a major part of Jesus’ family tree (see Matthew 1).

Our diversity unites us. And we are all family.


You’ve seen the “Coexist” bummer stickers using symbols from the different religions of the world.  Well, here is another take on that.

via Geeks of Doom

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