Author: Ellen Yeomans
Illustrator: Tim Ladwig
Publisher: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers
Audience: Can be used with all ages
Summary: Jubilee paints a beautiful picture, through words and illustrations, of what Heaven will be like, but also speaks to the glory of the Kingdom of God and our need to strive for justice, equality, and joy (jubilee) here on earth. In this story, all people are equal and live in joyous celebration of the wonder of God’s creations.
Literary elements at work in the story: If you could imagine a picture-perfect day, not too hot and not too cold, where the grass is green and the sky is blue, and you are surrounded by beautiful trees, that would be the image Ladwig has captured in his illustrations in Jubilee. In this picture book, the words are poetic and take on a rhythm or song-like quality as soon as you start reading, with each section ending in the word “jubilee”. There is not a story or plot per se…the reader simply gets a glimpse of a world through the eyes of an observer, where people of all ages, races, genders, ethnicities, and interests, live together in harmony and rejoice in the splendor of their blessings and their surroundings.
Perspective on gender/race/culture/economic/ability: Jubilee celebrates equality and social justice (like the Year of Jubilee found in the Old Testament). Every person, no matter his age, race, gender, economic status, ability, etc. is valued and loved. All are happy to see one another as together they celebrate the glory of God’s kingdom.
Scripture: Leviticus 25:10b , Numbers 36:4, 1 Peter 4:10
Theology: The Jubilee represents a return to the concept of equality before God. In the Old Testament, the year of Jubilee was a reaction against oppression and poverty based on the idea that the land is from God and must be restored. The Jubilee year was intended to be a joyous celebration of the sovereignty of God in which God’s people were emancipated and lived as partners for social justice. This book represents this joyous celebration through beautiful words and illustrations.
Faith Talk Questions:
- Look closely at the pictures. What do you see people doing?
- How are the people in this book treating the earth God has created?
- When you look at these pictures, how do they make you feel? Do they remind you of how we tend to interact with others and enjoy God’s creations? How is the “real world” similar to these pictures? How is it different?
- Do you think human beings have trouble treating each other as equals? Why?
- At the end of the story, you are invited to join them…to “come along”. What can you do everyday to create “jubilee”?
Review prepared by Erin Mills, MACE, Entering cohort Fall 2007