Author: Nikki Grimes
Illustrator: Michael Bryant
Publisher: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers
Audience: All Ages
Summary: Come Sunday is the story of a young girl’s joyful celebration through the Sabbath day. This book would make an excellent baptism gift for children of any age.
Literary Elements at Work: Come Sunday is Nikki Grimes’ recount of young LaTasha’s journey through the Sabbath day. Using poetry, Ms. Grimes moves our young worshipper, and consequently us, from the breaking of dawn to the closing of dusk on this re-creating day. Each movement of her Sabbath sojourn is given its own poetical verse. For example, LaTasha’s day opens with “Come Sunday, Mommy wakes me up with whispers. LaTasha, honey, she says to me. Time to shed dawn’s cozy quilt. Come on, Sweet Pea. Open up those eyes.” and closes with “Now I lay me down to sleep…” Additionally, Michael Bryant’s bright and vivid illustrations in water color lend an ethereal landscape for LaTasha, and consequently us, to travel along as we traverse this most holy day.
Scripture: Exodus 20:1-2, 8-11
Theology: “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery…” God has already freed Israel to be free for God and one another. The Ten Commandments are not hoops to jump through so that one may be free. Rather, they are a description for life in community with God and one another because one is already free. When turned around into ten hoops to jump through in order to be free, the Ten Commandments become fetters that bind, and one is no longer free. I knew a woman who hated Sundays. Honoring the Sabbath had become a hoop for her and her family to jump through in order to achieve freedom. When she was a little girl, Sunday was a day of “no”—“no card playing,” “no knitting,” “no playing outside…”“no,” “no,” “no” and “no.” In the Reformed tradition honoring the Sabbath is a day of celebration – a joyous response to the freedom God has given us in Jesus Christ. We say “yes” – “yes” to dressing up, “yes” to going to church, “yes” to singing the hymns, “yes” to saying what it is we believe, “yes” to celebrating the gifts of God. The Ten Commandments are predicated on its preamble. “I am the Lord, your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.” They are boundaries given to the free. Let’s celebrate!
Faith Talk Questions:
- One Sunday, walk your child(ren) through his or her Sabbath day along with LaTasha. Wake your child up by reading LaTasha’s wake-up poem. Read with your child about the “Blue-Haired Ladies” as you enter church. Who do you and your child(ren) see sitting in church? Blue-haired ladies? Pink-haired ladies? No-haired gentlemen? Tell your child(ren) who you saw in church when you were a little girl or little boy. Did you see blue-haired ladies? Did gentlemen wear hats? Did ladies wear gloves? Did you go to church when you were a child? If not, when did you start going to church? Who took you to church? What did you wear to church when you were a child?
- Read with your child(ren) “On the March.” What kind of instruments does LaTasha’s church use for music and singing? What kind of instruments does your church use for music and singing? An organ? Piano? Drums? Guitars? Which instrument is your favorite? Which instrument is your child’s favorite? What are your favorite hymns? What are your child’s favorite hymns? Have a hymn sing in the car (or on the bus, or on the walk) on the way home from church.
- Read about LaTasha’s offering. Why do we give money to the church? What does the church do with the money we give?
- Tuck your child(ren) in on the Sabbath night as you read “Lights Out.” What nighttime prayers did you say as a child? What nighttime prayers do you say with your child(ren)?
- Paradise Baptist church is the name of LaTasha’s church. What does “another day in Paradise” mean? Is there any other meaning? What is the name of your church? Do you wonder why? Guess? Ask your minister. What is your favorite part of the Sabbath day? Why? What is your child’s favorite part of the Sabbath day? Why? What was your least favorite part of the Sabbath day when you were a little girl or a little boy? Why? What is your child’s least favorite part of the Sabbath day? Why?
- Share LaTasha’s Sabbath story with the entire family—grandma, grandpa, aunts, uncles, friends, and neighbors. Then have everyone share his or her own Sabbath story. Write, paint or color your own Sabbath stories.
Review prepared by Kim Lee, MACE, Entering Cohort Fall 2007
Come Sunday by Storypath is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.