An unusual and creative interpretation of the three parables, offering the satisfying conclusion that each person (or sheep...

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WHO COUNTS?

100 SHEEP, 10 COINS, AND 2 SONS

Three parables of Jesus from the Christian Bible are retold with modern-day settings and characters.

Levine (Jewish Studies/Vanderbilt) and Sasso, a rabbi, use diverse settings and a multicultural cast of characters to recount the parables of the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the prodigal son. “One Hundred Sheep” is set on a contemporary ranch with a bearded, white shepherd in plaid flannel shirt, jeans, and cowboy boots. He notices when just one of his flock goes missing and searches until he finds her. “Ten Coins” is the story of a brown-skinned woman with dark, curly hair who temporarily misplaces one of her silver coins, identified in the text as drachmas, although that term is not further defined. “Two Sons,” the longest story in the collection, recounts the story of a father’s relationship with his two adult sons. The father and sons have light-brown skin and dark, curly hair. Each story ends with a celebration including neighbors and friends of different ethnicities. The confident, cheery tone of the text is well-matched with appealing illustrations that effectively convey the emotions of the characters. The large trim size makes this an excellent choice for reading to a group, and no prior knowledge of the specific Bible stories is necessary for comprehension. A thoughtful authors’ note to parents and teachers offers interpretation of the three parables, discussion suggestions, and source references for the biblical texts.

An unusual and creative interpretation of the three parables, offering the satisfying conclusion that each person (or sheep or coin) matters and should be counted. (Picture book/religion. 5-8)

Pub Date: May 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-664-26274-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2017

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Thank you, Gerald and Piggie. We’ll miss you

THE THANK YOU BOOK

From the Elephant & Piggie series

Piggie is “one lucky pig,” and she’s determined to make sure she thanks “everyone who is important to” her in this, the final Elephant & Piggie book.

Gerald is sure his friend will forget someone—“someone important”—but Piggie assures him, “It will be a THANK-O-RAMA!” Piggie proceeds to thank the Squirrels for their great ideas, Snake for playing ball, and the Pigeon “for never giving up.” Piggie thanks and thanks: “I am a thanking machine!” She thanks character after character, even the Flies (“Any time, dude!”), as Gerald continues to interject that she’ll forget “someone VERY important.” Finally Piggie runs out of thanks, and by this time Gerald is steamed. “I goofed,” Piggie says in itty-bitty type, before lavishing thanks on Gerald. But that’s not whom Piggie forgot to thank! A classic Willems tantrum later, Gerald reveals the “someone important”: “Our reader.” Of course. “We could not be ‘us’ without you,” says Gerald, earnestly looking out from the page, and Piggie chimes in, “You are the best!” As Elephant & Piggie books go, this isn’t one of the strongest, but it is a validating valediction to fans of the two characters, who have won Willems two Geisel Medals and five Honors. Yes, Gerald and Piggie have ushered countless readers into literacy, but as they rightly note, reading is a collaborative act.

Thank you, Gerald and Piggie. We’ll miss you . (Early reader. 5-8)

Pub Date: May 3, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4231-7828-6

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 10, 2016

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Embedded in this heartwarming story of doing the right thing is a deft examination of the pressures of income inequality on...

A BIKE LIKE SERGIO'S

Continuing from their acclaimed Those Shoes (2007), Boelts and Jones entwine conversations on money, motives, and morality.

This second collaboration between author and illustrator is set within an urban multicultural streetscape, where brown-skinned protagonist Ruben wishes for a bike like his friend Sergio’s. He wishes, but Ruben knows too well the pressure his family feels to prioritize the essentials. While Sergio buys a pack of football cards from Sonny’s Grocery, Ruben must buy the bread his mom wants. A familiar lady drops what Ruben believes to be a $1 bill, but picking it up, to his shock, he discovers $100! Is this Ruben’s chance to get himself the bike of his dreams? In a fateful twist, Ruben loses track of the C-note and is sent into a panic. After finally finding it nestled deep in a backpack pocket, he comes to a sense of moral clarity: “I remember how it was for me when that money that was hers—then mine—was gone.” When he returns the bill to her, the lady offers Ruben her blessing, leaving him with double-dipped emotions, “happy and mixed up, full and empty.” Readers will be pleased that there’s no reward for Ruben’s choice of integrity beyond the priceless love and warmth of a family’s care and pride.

Embedded in this heartwarming story of doing the right thing is a deft examination of the pressures of income inequality on children. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 4, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6649-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

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