Wolf in the Snow is the title of the children’s picture book which this Monday morning won the Caldecott prize, which means that according the Caldecott committee, it’s the best book in this category to have been published in 2017.
This Tuesday I read it aloud to three different Kirkland SDA School classes, which included grades K-4. It’s an almost wordless book, the author having decided to tell the story through pictures. I’m not going to give the plot away, but I’ll insert a link to the news story about its win (as well as victories for other kids’ books) at the end of this blog.
The story is basically about a little rural girl who, while walking home from school one snowy winter day, discovers a little wolf cub which has been separated from its pack. Though an imaginary story, it is filled with deep and honest emotions, including love.
All the KSDA kids loved the book, and were “right with me” as I narrated it. In fact, one little girl from an earlier group found it so memorable that when she went out for recess, she mentioned it to another girl who would hear the story in a later group.
What was so wonderful was that this story needed very few words. For example, “whine” indicated the whimpering wolf cub, and “huff huff huff,” the sound the tired little girl made as she struggled through the snow.
This reminded me that while we as Christians do need to be ready to give a verbal answer about the hope which is within us, and we do need to read the Bible and recommend it to others, by far the most powerful initial impression about Christianity is provided by people whose actions show the deepest kind of self-sacrificing love. The following famous poem says it well:
I’d Rather See A Sermon
Edgar A. Guest
I’d rather see a sermon than hear one any day;
I’d rather one should walk with me than merely tell the way.
The eye’s a better pupil and more willing than the ear,
Fine counsel is confusing, but example’s always clear;
And the best of all preachers are the men who live their creeds,
For to see good put in action is what everybody needs.
I soon can learn to do it if you’ll let me see it done;
I can watch your hands in action, but your tongue too fast may run.
And the lecture you deliver may be very wise and true,
But I’d rather get my lessons by observing what you do;
For I might misunderstand you and the high advice you give,
But there’s no misunderstanding how you act and how you live.
Here’s the link to the article about how Wolf in the Snow won the Caldecott.