Monthly Archives: March 2012

Zuno’s Pick

David Macaulay’s Black and White gives the reader four stories in one, or does it? Follow the boy on the train, waiting commuters, parents who seem to have lost it, and an escaped herd of Holsteins accompanied by an escaped convict. Black and white dominate the color scheme but Macaulay gives his readers plenty of grey as the story (or stories) unfolds. By the end of the tale, the color and story lenses refocus and grey shifts to black and white once again. The Holstein cows and the escapee are my favorites in this 1991 Caldecott Medal winner. How about you?

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Cross Training

God’s Champion

Knights in medieval times pledged to follow a code of chivalry. Part of the code was to champion the right and the good against injustice and evil. When my oldest son attended high school, I often prayed that he would be God’s champion there. He came home one day and told me how he had stood up for a classmate when a teacher treated the young man unfairly. The teacher commented to my son, “Who made you his champion?” God had answered my prayers and the story still gives me goose bumps.

In this part of Proverbs, King Lemuel, as taught by his mother, proclaims God’s heart that His children be the champion of those around them:

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” Proverbs 31: 8, 9 NIV

Who around you needs a champion? Speak up. Stand tall. Be God’s champion for someone today.

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Gayle’s Gable

Luke–framed for a crime he didn’t commit. Will and Lyssa—sibling warfare out of control. Charla—athletic perfectionist. Ian—TV junkie. J.J.—celebrity kid gone bad. All six are condemned to a month out at sea with CNC, Charting a New Course, a sailing program designed to rehab troubled kids. When a fierce storm and a costly error by J.J. leave the kids shipwrecked, they must work together to survive and to find their way off the small Pacific island and home. Book One: Shipwreck, Book Two: Survival, and Book Three: Escape come together in Gordan Korman’s special edition of Island Trilogy.

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Zuno’s Pick

Zuno picks David Wiesner’s Three Pigs. A multiple Caldecott Medal winner, here Wiesner twists the tale of the three little pigs. If you are familiar with Wiesner’s work, such as Tuesday and Flotsam, you know to expect the unexpected. Join the three little pigs as they scamper from page to page and from story to story in hopes of evading that mean old wolf. This picture book earned the 2002 Caldecott Medal.

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Cross Training

Hateful: #1 – Is the Light On?

            “There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him:

            haughty eyes,

            a lying tongue,

            hands that shed innocent blood,

            a heart that devises wicked schemes,

            feet that are quick to rush into evil,

            a false witness who pours out lies

            and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.” Proverbs 6:16-19 NIV

It’s hard to imagine God hating anything. Yet, Solomon gives us: God’s Top 7 Hate List and number one on the Hate List is haughty eyes.

Lights. Jack-o-lanterns illuminate the front porch and show off the creative designs of the pumpkin carver. Landscape lighting spotlights trees and flowers while showing us the safest way to the door. Christmas lights brighten both home and spirit in the cold, dark of winter. Jesus says in Matthew 6: 22, 23 (NIV), “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!”

Haughty eyes make for a darkened lamp. A heart that overvalues itself and undervalues others finds its expression on the face, namely, through haughty eyes.

So, how’s your lamp? Is your flame flickering or burning brightly?

Light exposes darkness and reveals places that may make us stumble. Light also marks the right path and spotlights the good and the beautiful. Matthew 5: 14 (NIV) says, ‘You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”

Without light, we stumble and so do those around us. Don’t allow pride to darken your lamp. Keep your lantern burning clearly with the light of humility. Humility’s soft glow points the way out of darkness to the kingdom of light and to the Savior who reigns there. Is your light on?

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Gayle’s Gable

Every summer, Joey and his sister, Mary Alice, find themselves on a train from Chicago to Grandma’s small town somewhere on the way to St. Louis. Richard Peck’s A Long Way From Chicago takes place during the Great Depression and Grandma Dowdel doesn’t even have indoor plumbing. Yet Grandma delivers one surprise after another for the siblings and many laugh-out-loud moments for the reader. Tales of Grandma Dowdel’s twelve gauge shotgun, the sheriff caught in his underwear, and gooseberry pie contests keep the pages turning. Don’t miss this one. Read it with your grandma if you can.

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Zuno’s Pick

Black and white illustrations mirror the simple text of Susan Marie Swanson’s House in the Night. Illustrator Beth Krommes employs scratchboard and watercolor to achieve her drawings. Kromme contrasts yellow with black and white to tell Swanson’s story of dark and light. I love the symbolism in this book. Its pages flow with hope and warmth in the midst of darkness. The House in the Night won the 2009 Caldecott Medal.

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