Name of Book: A Good Day
Author: Kevin Henkes
Audience: Ages 2-5
Summary: Four animals face small disappointments that threaten to ruin their good mood. But before gloom can settle over an otherwise sunny day, their momentary losses – of self, freedom, love and food – are seen in a new light.
Literary elements at work in the story: Written as a parable, this story introduces the very young to ways of dealing with life’s small disappointments.
How does the perspective on gender/race/culture/economics/ability make a difference to the story?: The animals’ happy expressions and postures, in sharp contrast to their former dejected demeanors, will help young children see that a bad day can turn out to be a good one after all.
Scripture: Jeremiah 29:11
Theology: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah is speaking to the exiled Israelites in Babylon. They are discouraged, and although their situation is more serious than that of the animals in the story, they faced the same problem the animals did…loss of faith. The animals could have let their disappointments ruin their day just as the Israelites could have let their exile ruin their lives, but they didn’t. They didn’t because they both were open to seeing life anew. When life is not going your way, be open to a new way of looking at life and you too will find the good day God so graciously gives to us all.
Faith Talk Questions:
- Why are the animals unhappy?
- Do they stay unhappy?
- What happens to make them happy?
- What does it mean to be an exile?
- Why were the Israelites unhappy?
- What gives them hope that they will have a good day?
- How can we have a good day when we are unhappy?
Review prepared by regular contributor Janet Lloyd
A Good Day by Storypath is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.