Make Room: A Child's Guide to Lent and Easter  -     By: Laura Alary
    Illustrated By: Ann Boyajian
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Make Room: A Child's Guide to Lent and Easter

Illustrated By: Ann Boyajian
Paraclete Press / 2016 / Paperback

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Product Description

Lent can be a difficult season for children. Unlike Advent, which is filled with delightful anticipation and growing light, Lent is a journey through dark and frightening places.  Make Room presents Lent as a special time for creating a welcoming space for God by weaving together episodes from the life of Jesus with a child's reflections on how these stories can shape their own choices and actions throughout the season.

This book offers simple and practical activities like cleaning a room, making bread and soup, turning off the television, clearing clutter, or inviting a neighbor for supper, that encourage kids to learn how to live like Jesus.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 32
Vendor: Paraclete Press
Publication Date: 2016
Dimensions: 11.00 X 8.00 (inches)
ISBN: 1612616593
ISBN-13: 9781612616599

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Publisher's Description

Make Room has a lot to do with making space, opening up, emptying out, and creating room for new growth. The book has two aims. The first is to re-interpret the three traditional Lenten disciplines of prayer, fasting, and alms giving in a way that is meaningful, practical and accessible for children. The second is to root those practices in the larger story of the life and ministry of Jesus, so they aren't just activities or more things to do, but a part of a life of discipleship. Make Room is a positive presentation of Lent as a special time for following Jesus along his path of openness, hospitality, and of making known the expansive love of God. —Laura Alary

Author Bio

Laura Alary is a writer, storyteller, and religious educator. When she was a little girl she used to make her own books out of manila paper, crayons, and mucilage. These early efforts at writing eventually gave way to academic papers and theses, as she earned degrees in Classics (B.A., Dalhousie), Theology (M.Div., Knox College, University of Toronto) and New Testament (Ph.D., University of St. Michael’s College). More recently, Laura has focused on a new type of education—raising three creative and curious children. She leads workshops on everything from storytelling to biblical interpretation, teaches the occasional university course, and works with children at a local congregation. She has also returned to her early love of creating her own books, including Is That Story True? and Mira and the Big Story. Laura lives in Toronto, Canada.

Ann Boyajian is the illustrator of many books, including Samantha's Friendship Fun (in the American Girl series), More Spice Than Sugar (Houghton Mifflin), and O Say Can You See? American's Symbols, Landmarks, and Inspiring Words (Scholastic).

Editorial Reviews

A great addition to your Lent / Easter Shelf Unit: This unique book invites children to experience Lent with all their senses, and to see it as a special time for creating a welcoming space for God. We recommend placing this book on the bottom shelf of your Lent / Easter shelf unit.
—The Rev. Cheryl V. Minor, Ph.D.
Co-Rector, All Saints' Church, Belmont, MA
Director of the Center for the Theology of Childhood
The Godly Play Foundation

While I realize my daughter will develop her own faith traditions, I want her to be aware of all the various ways she can remember all her Lord and Savior has done for her. This book explains why Lent helps us remember. Taking us through the events of Holy Week, the author explains how all the Lenten traditions we focus on help us "Make Room" for more of Jesus. While the book is simple enough for a child, it unpacks the importance of participating in Lent very well. —Traci Rhoades
 


"The book reveals what is usually hidden: what we knew as penitential is actually life-giving and faith-building. After reading the book to my kids, my five year old daughter exclaimed "I can't wait for Lent! I just can't wait!"—Gary Neal Hansen, Author of Kneeling with Giants: Learning to Pray with History's Best Teachers

"Dr. Alary truly respects the child and asks us to walk with them as they point us to Christ. This is a wonderful resource."—Rev. Olivia Stewart, Director of Children & Worship

"This is a poetic, practical and theologically wise book for children."—L. Ann Jervis, Professor of New Testament, Wycliffe College, University of Toronto.

"Wow, what a wonderful children's book, delightfully illustrated and nicely told. It is an invitation for children to wonder about the Lenten story, helping children to experience Lent with all their senses.  I think it is a fine book for almost any kind of Christian."—Byron Borger, Hearts and Minds Books

Make Room: A Children's Guide to Lent and Easter was a solid addition to the religious education of our young children. Where many Easter books focus on the resurrection of Christ, this book tenderly and thoughtfully explained the Lenten season with child-appropriate examples of reasonable and realistic ways in which children can observe. With sections on reaching out to help others, giving away extra so that others can have simply enough, and ways to sit in quiet prayer and reflection, this book created room for ongoing thought-provoking questions. Best of all, the book is written in a way that allows the child to see ways in which to meaningfully participate in the process and shift attention away from a season of "I can't have..." to a season of preparation and dedication. Make room on your shelf for this title.—Amy Shaw, Educator

Reading Make Room with my two-year old Plum, I delighted to see how Alary makes room for our own conversation within her text, sprinkling pages with I wonder and maybe.

I wonder why Jesus went into the desert? I wonder who they thought Jesus was?

Ann Boyajian’s illustrations are thought-filled and beautiful, making the book feel like a window into an active congregation where the Biblical stories are vividly live.

I liked how Alary balances wondering questions with more straightforward teaching. She writes simply and clearly so that small children will be able to understand, but older ones will also be able to find rich material  for their own wondering. Intriguingly, Alary makes a point of creating a wide sense of space around both the crucifixion and the resurrection. She does not supply the theological meaning behind either aspect of the story, but rather describes the lived history and experience of Easter and again makes room for us all, whatever our theological understanding, within the story.—Katie Munnik, The Messy Table, Presbyterian Record

Product Reviews

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  1. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    Make Room: A Child's Guide to Lent and Easter
    April 14, 2016
    Lynne
    Quality: 0
    Value: 0
    Meets Expectations: 0
    Beautiful pictures and an interesting way of presenting Lent to children. This was purchased for use in a Sunday School classroom and was well received by the diverse age group we have.
  2. Illinois
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Make Room for Lent
    January 26, 2016
    LeslieS
    Illinois
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Growing up I was unfamiliar with Lent as our church did not observe the church year. When I did hear individuals speak of Lent much later as a college student, the context was typically the question "What are you giving up for Lent?" As an adult, I learned more about the church year and try to observe it personally and with my family. However, the sticking point has always been how to explain Lent to my children and observe it in a meaningful way in a congregation which doesn't practice Lent. Seeking out books about Lent was difficult as many required explanations of unfamiliar practices or terminology. Enter Laura Alary's new book Make Room: A Child's Guide to Lent.

    Make Room is a picture book for children. Right away several things caught my attention. To begin, Alary arranges her book around the themes of Make Time, Make Space, and Make Room as ways to get ready while waiting for Easter and leading up to Holy Week. Each section begins with a text, anchored in an example from Christ's life or teaching, followed by practical examples presented in an engaging and winsome manner which children and families can accomplish. This emphasis on making Jesus a priority, rather than giving up something, is refreshing. The text does include examples of turning off the TV and giving away items you no longer need, but the emphasis is always on doing so in order to make room in your life and heart for Christ and becoming more Christ-like in the process.

    In a picture book, the text and pictures are equally important. The pictures by illustrator Ann Boyajian are beautiful water color illustrations which complement each section. The illustrations depict children actively engaged in the activities mentioned in the text. Diverse children are shown increasing the appeal to a wide audience.

    While this book contains some references which may be confusing to a child, such as a Maundy Thursday service or going to the lake on Easter morning--particularly if not practice by your local congregation, they are easily explained. While geared toward early elementary aged children, older children may benefit from this book as well. The sections are ideal to read and discuss one at a time for family devotions followed by carrying out the examples given. All in all, Alary's Make Room: A Child's Guide to Lent makes the practice of Lent understandable, meaningful, and doable for children and families from a variety of Christian traditions. I look forward to sharing this book with my family and encourage you to do the same.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Paraclete Press. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
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