On Children’s Books and Prayer Beads: A Great New Resource

I have always loved children’s books. Indeed, my fantasy job is to own a children’s book store (I could be Meg Ryan in “You’ve Got Mail!”). I love the illustrations, the stories, the messages. I have kept many of the books my son has long since outgrown (according to him). I especially love anything by Doreen Cronin or Eric Carle.

That’s why I’m so excited to share this resource with you, created by Hanna Schock. I got to know Hanna as we both went through the two-year Academy for Spiritual Formation. During that time I learned that Hanna shares my love for picture books. And using her experience as a teacher, curriculum designer, and school psychologist, Hanna has developed an amazing new ministry resource called “Picture Book Theology.” She takes “secular” picture books – those books that aren’t written specifically to have a theological message – and identifies ways they can be used to help communicate theological concepts such as forgiveness, hospitality, grace, etc. How cool is that?!?

With her blog she has made a commitment to post 1 review of a picture book every day for an entire year. That’s 365 books! With each post she provides a short summary of the book, then offers her thoughts for how the book can be used to teach theological concepts in Sunday School classes, VBS, children’s church, and other opportunities for ministry. Each review includes at least one Scripture connection as well as ideas for how to apply the book’s message.

Today is Hanna’s 100th post, and it happens to feature a book that has connections with prayer beads! The Memory String is a book about a young girl who is struggling to accept her new stepmother. She has a string of heirloom buttons that she holds tight to remember her mother (who has died) and other happier times. In her review, Hanna talks about how the book can help children think about using prayer beads to help them in times of grief, loneliness, etc.

Hanna has found several other books that have connections with prayer beads. As a result, I have invited her to write a guest blog post for us, which I’ll post in the next week or two. In the meantime, I invite you to check out her blog, subscribe to it, and see all the wonderful books she has reviewed!

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