The Warren & the World is Story Warren’s weekly newsletter, providing a round-up of our favorite things from around the web as well as a review of what was on our site over the past week. We’re glad you’re here!
Around the Web
The Truth That Goes Before Us
- “Is Daddy going to be ok?”At 10:30 p.m. on December 23, one of my children was brave enough to utter the burning question that I didn’t have the courage to ask. I was scrambling to get out of our house and follow the ambulance to the emergency room. Only minutes earlier, my healthy, strong, full-of-life husband had suffered a stroke. I had no idea what the next hours and days would hold. But the question demanded an answer.
How does a parent offer hope and comfort when the reality of circumstance is a dangerously wild animal—unpredictable and threatening to destroy more than we could bear to imagine?
How To Get Kids Hooked On Books? ‘Use Poetry. It Is A Surefire Way’
- Kwame Alexander writes books that bend genres — novels about middle school boys, written not in prose but verse. And he does it well: His book The Crossover won the Newbery Medal last year for children’s literature.His new book is no different. Composed of a series of poems, Booked tells the story of a 12-year-old named Nick, a boy who loves soccer and hates books. But, as Alexander notes, there’s a reason for that.
23+ Children’s Books Not to Miss and Why
- This example illustrates what separates a good book from books in general; a good book performs more than one function. It’s not simply entertainment. Perhaps it sparks our own creativity, connects to us emotionally, or gives us valuable insight. Picking it up can transport us – whether that’s to another world (like Harry Potter), to a safe place (like our mother’s lap), or to a perspective above our circumstances.What follows are some favorites from our house to yours. Keep in mind that I have two boys, ages four and seven, though I adore these too.
The Do-Something Day
Our own Joe Sutphin has a piece over at The Rabbit Room on the poignant joy of getting the chance to thank the author/illustrator of one of his favorite childhood books.
- Those are the opening lines to one of my favorite picture books as a boy: The Do-Something Day, by Joe Lasker. It’s a simple story about a boy who feels unimportant and unneeded by his family. As a result, he decides to run away from home. He passes familiar businesses in town, telling each shop owner his decision to run away because no one needs his help. As a result he finds that each one of them needs his help for something, and as payment they each send him away with a gift. In the end he has a whole bag full of gifts to share with his family.Its a cute story, but the story isn’t what hooked me as a kid. I didn’t read well, and this book had really interesting illustrations. I loved all of the details in the various storefronts. Most of all, I loved the costume shop filled with Halloween costumes. I would scour its details nightly. They told a greater story to me than the words ever could.
Around the Warren
Stories as a Shared Language
James Witmer writes about the value of a vocabulary of tales.
- I believe that one of the most precious things we can give our children is a sense of belonging. Christians rightly make much of not belonging to this fallen world, but Scripture does not say we are a nomadic, homeless people. No, we are strangers in a strange land, but we are pilgrims – we are citizens of another kingdom. Our road is not endless, it has a destination.Or as Tolkien wrote, “Not all who wander are lost.”
To put it another way: We can’t revoke our children’s citizenship in Vanity Fair, without offering them a better home, and expect them to remain aloof. The human soul cannot stand to be untethered – it will float away in search of a tree to tangle in.
Miracle Man Is Majestic Mythologizing
Loren Eaton recommends John Hendrix’s book Miracle Man as an antidote for the many bad options for children’s Bible stories out there.
- If you’re a doctrinally focused type (and I definitely deserve that descriptor), then picking a children’s Bible for bedtime reading can be a chore. Bad options abound, books that are either too twee or too serious. Too old-fashioned or too progressive. Too doctrinal or too loose with essentials. Too … well, you get the idea. Simply reading the Bible to your kids sounds like, you know, the ideal option, but have you ever tried to get through the twenty-third Psalm with a pair of wiggly tots? Little eyes start wandering before you get to still waters, let alone heads anointed with oil. That’s part of the reason why I find John Hendrix’s Miracle Man: The Story of Jesus so compelling. It doesn’t purport to be straight up retelling of the Gospels. Rather, it’s a creative redaction of biblical stories illustrated with such splashy verve that it’s sure to keep little ones glued to the proverbial page.
The Parliament of Owls
Ken Priebe is a poet and illustrator that S.D. Smith and his family love to laugh with, and Sam is sharing a preview with us.
- I’m a big fan of Ken Priebe’s poetry and illustrations. His forthcoming book, Gnomes of the Cheese Forrest, is absolutely hilarious. When it’s about to release, which I hope won’t be too terribly long distant from now, you’ll hear about it from me. Our family laughed out loud, literally, over and over as we read and explored an early version. This is a good example. Enjoy!
Something to Do with Your Kids
And Something to Watch
I discovered after The Warren & the World went out last week that I had somehow missed changing the link to the video. So, to begin, here’s the Marimba challenge I meant to link last week. Sorry!