Author: Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Douglas Carlton Abrams
Illustrator: LeUyen Pham
Publisher’s Intended Audience: Ages 4-8
Summary: This book begins with a question, “What does God dream about?” This draws the reader in and allows them to wonder, like the children depicted do, about the nature of God. The book then moves into God’s dream for community, as displayed in “sharing,” “loving,” “holding,” “laughing,” “playing” and “caring.” But God’s dream also calls God’s people, even children, to action. Through the resurrection of Christ, we are given the choice to choose to love one another, but do not always make that choice. And it is because of this people get hurt and cry, in fact, when we are hurt and when we cry, God cries with us. When we choose to love one another and care for one another, we are demonstrating thepart of God that we carry in each of us. The book ends by illustrating that every person, regardless of race, gender, and culture is a child of God. One can not help but hear the tune to “Jesus Loves the Little Children of the World” ringing in their ears.
Literary elements at work in the story: The book is based on questions raised and answers given. It is almost a dialogue between the author, the reader, and the children in the book.
Perspective on gender/ race/ culture/ economic/ ability: The book is intentionally multi-cultural, focusing on different races, religious, and ethnic backgrounds. It is a beautiful depiction of God’s community, God’s people, reaching across the boundaries and lines people place upon themselves and others.
Scripture: Mark 12:31, aspects of the Beatitudes found in Mark 5:1-9
Theology: In response to God’s grace, God’s children want to participate in God’s dreams coming true. We need to love and care for one another because we are part of the community. Humans bear the image of God.
Faith Talk Questions (Intended for use with children ages 4-7):
1. What do you dream about? (I would ask the child this before reading the book)
2. What do you think God dreams about? (I would ask this before reading the book to see if the questions differ than the ones the book portrays).
3. How can we help God’s dream come true?
Prepared by: Ashley Cheek, MDiv/MACE degrees/Entering cohort – 2007