Douglas Wood visited our congregation last year. As part of a worship service, he read passages, sang, and played acoustic guitar while Cheng-Khee Chee's artwork cycled through on large screens in the sanctuary. The adult-heavy audience and worship setting were perfect, and absolutely beautiful. The emotionally evocative presentation of the award-winning children's book worked among liberal leaning, mainline Christian churchgoers. But as for the children? Well, let's just say the story and performance set a mood conducive to a nap filled with sweet dreams. Despite the book's gentleness and beauty, there's not much in Old Turtle
to captivate a young mind.
Don't get me wrong, I love Old Turtle
! Cheng-Khee Chee's artwork is to die for. Wood's mystical and, in the end, hopeful take on conflict, diversity, divine mystery and environmental destruction speaks powerfully to me as a left-leaning clergyperson. But between the maturish message and subtle, softly lined artwork, I can't consider Old Turtle
a children's book. A picture book for world federalists and universalists perhaps, but not for most little ones.
Stick to [b:The Lorax|7784|The Lorax|Dr. Seuss|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1327879938s/7784.jpg|886002] if you want an environmental message presented in a vibrant and child-centered way. And you can't beat [b:The Story of Ferdinand|773951|The Story of Ferdinand|Munro Leaf|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1348133512s/773951.jpg|484402] as an example of gentleness in the face of violence.