Students in Pamela Mitchell-Legg’s Using Children’s and Adolescents’ Literature in the Church class read lots of books! Sometimes, they write full faith reviews on those books and those will be posted here. But sometimes they come across a book that doesn’t make it into a full review and still want to share it. Those briefer reviews will be posted periodically under the heading What I’m Reading Now. The first post in that series is written by Union Presbyterian Seminary student Megan Argabrite.
I recently came across the children’s book The Present by Bob Gill (Chronicle Books, ISBN: 9780811877435). It is a delightful story in which the main character, a boy named Arthur, discovers the joy of giving. He finds a beautifully wrapped present in the top of his Dad’s closet and knows it must be for his upcoming birthday. The majority of the book is Arthur imagining all the wonderful things that could be hidden inside the box, from gumballs, to a tractor, to a new bicycle wheel! Finally, it’s the day before his birthday and a woman comes to the door collecting toys for poor children. Without thinking twice Arthur runs to the closet, grabs the beautiful, mysterious box and gives it to the woman. This is where the story ends. The author makes no attempt to give a moral of the story or explain how Arthur felt giving away his own birthday present. He just tells the story with childlike language, pictures, and humor, leaving the lesson to the readers. This is truly a wonderful book!