Our youth minister has changed the schedule some, so I will not officially teach Sunday School until May 1st, but I still have a chance to share books with the preschoolers in Sunday School, though I don't run the rest of the lesson. Thus, I am able to offer another Sunday Sharing post. After class, I'll update the post to talk about how the kids reacted to the book, sharing their reactions with you.
The Little Island, reissued by Doubleday in 2003 (first published in 1946)
Author: Margaret Wise Brown (written under the name Golden MacDonald)
Illustrator: Leonard Weisgard
Caldecott Medal winner
Years ago, I shared this book with my own children, as well as children in earlier Sunday School classes (I think I first taught Sunday School to preschoolers when my own daughter was three, and she's twenty-four now). My copy of the book was published in 1973, and has Golden MacDonald listed as the author, so I was surprised to look it up on Amazon and see Margaret Wise Brown as the author. She is the author of many books we have loved over the years, including The Runaway Bunny and Goodnight Moon, so it is fun to find out that she wrote The Little Island as well.
This is the story of a tiny island, and the flowers, trees and birds who live there, as well as the fish, lobsters and seals who swim nearby. It is also the story of a little kitten who visits the Island, and discovers something about faith and about being part of a bigger whole.
This is not a religious book, but then very few of the books I share in Sunday School are overtly religious. Instead, this is a book about being part of the world around you, and the changing seasons, and what it is to be alive and joyful. I hope it can spark conversation about how each of us is part of the world, even in ways that we can't see.
As I won't be the actual teacher, I can't craft a lesson around this book, but since I usually read to the kids while they have a snack, I can certainly entice them to stay still long enough to share their thoughts. (If you haven't learned yet, feeding people is a good way to retain their attention, whether it is preschoolers, teenagers, business people in a meeting or a person on a date. Food is attention's friend.)
I like this book a lot, its gentleness and beauty, as well as the messages it gives. Some may find it old fashioned, with too little action for youngsters of today, but I think children enjoy what they see that we enjoy. I'll let you know how they respond, but I can easily encourage you to get this book regardless.
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Update: The kids were very happy with The Little Island, as well as with their Teddy Grahams, pretzels and water. Henry liked the kitten best, but was upset he didn't swim down with the fish to see how the island was part of the world. In general, a successful sharing. By the way, I am holding of using A Wish and a Prayer until I can use it as part of a lesson.
Thanks for stopping by for Sunday Sharing.