Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Review: The Gardener and the Vine

Hi! Esmé here. I am still three years old... sigh... But soon I'll be four, and then five and then six and then - you get the point.

Anyhow, I've got another Cecil & Friends book to review for you today - we did Jesus and the Children last week, remember?

So here's the tour information.  Stay tuned for my review at the end!

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

Andrew McDonough

and the book:

Zondervan (January 15, 2010)
***Special thanks to Pam Mettler of Zondervan for sending me a review copy.***


Andrew is the creator, writer, and illustrator of the Lost Sheep series. Way back in 1989 as a young Bible college student, Andrew was asked to give the dreaded “children’s talk” at a large church. Andrew possessed one talent: he could draw sheep. He bought some overheard projector sheets and drew up the story of Cecil and the Lost Sheep. The congregation loved it, so Andrew continued to draw stories to use with kids and adults. Other student, pastors, and teachers started borrowing the stories.

Product Details:

List Price: $4.99
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: Zondervan (January 15, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0310719461
ISBN-13: 978-0310719465


My Review:

We did this review sort of interview style; Mom's in bold and I'm regular print...

What is this book about?  The Gardener and the vine. [obviously...]
What happens to the vine?  He cuts the vine off and puts it in his bag and carries it to a different vine that it has never been to.
What is that new magnificent vine like?  It's like grapes.
Would you like to be on a vine like that?  Yes.  Why?  Because I like vines.
Was the gardener good or bad?  Bad!  Huh?  Why?  Because he cut the branch off because he didn't like it.
Umm, let's revisit this concept.  I think you missed the point of the book.  Why did he cut the branch off?  Because he didn't like it.  No - because he wanted to take it from this ugly wild vine to a beautiful vine where it would bear grapes!
Do you like the pictures?  Uh huh!
Do you like the story?  Uh uh. Why not?  Because the gardener cut the branch off!
Was Basil [the branch] special?  Yes.  Why?  Because he was a branch.
Should Basil [the branch] trust the gardener?  Yes.  Why?  Because he was a branch.  All kids need to trust their mommies.  All branches need to trust the gardener.   
Ahh...  Now we're getting somewhere...
Let's stop there!

Mom's Notes:

A great story illustrating John 15:1,5 - I particularly like Cecil's page at the end, with notes for the parent on how to present and discuss the story.

Another winner in terms of illustration and simple story, Esmé requested this book over and over and enjoyed the pictures.  Though she DID mistake the pruning clippers for a whale...

She DID get a little confused as to the point of the story.  It's presented with a good news/bad news idea, and she kept getting hung up on the bad news.  That poor little branch, getting cut off from the ugly vine - it was hard for her to make the connection that sometimes "bad" has to happen in order for good to result. 

Though she DID get the point about needing to trust even when it seems something bad is happening!


Annette W. said...

We have this book, too! It is cute and sweet...and a unique way to share the message!