The View From Under the Pew  -     By: Diane Winters-Johnson
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The View From Under the Pew

Abingdon Press / 2008 / Paperback

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Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 32
Vendor: Abingdon Press
Publication Date: 2008
Dimensions: 10.00 X 8.00 (inches)
ISBN: 068764478X
ISBN-13: 9780687644780
Ages: 4-8

Publisher's Description

This beautifully-illustrated storybook introduces children to the true story of Walter, a guide dog who assists Pastor Diane through her day at the church. Walter helps Pastor Diane minister to others as they visit the sick at the hospital and attend church meetings and potluck suppers. Walter is her faithful companion as Pastor Diane conducts Bible studies and leads worship. Walter loves his view from under the pew, where he can listen to the choir sing and see the faces of families who have come to church to worship God together. 

Author Bio

Diane Winters Johnson is an ordained deacon in The United Methodist Church. She graduated from Ohio State University and The Methodist Theological School in Delaware, Ohio, with a master's degree in Christian education. Rev. Johnson also writes Sunday school curriculum. She lives in Wooster, Ohio.
Walter the Guide Dog was awarded an honorary degree in "dogmatic theology" by The Methodist Theological School in Ohio for his faithful participation in classes and his contribution to campus morale. Following a ten-year ministry with Diane Johnson, Walter is now retired and living with the Helmuth family in Wooster, Ohio.

Product Reviews

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  1. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    October 22, 2008
    Pat Marburger
    The illustrations in this heartwarming book are beautiful. This is wonderful story, told from the dog's point of view.
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Author/Artist Review

Author: Margaret Freed
Located in: wooster OH
Submitted: May 26, 2008

    Tell us a little about yourself.  Hi- I am an illustrator working in Wooster Ohio. I've primarily done educational and editorial work. This is my first children's picture book. I enjoy telling stories with pictures. I work realistically in watercolor, oil paint, and digital media.

    What was your motivation behind this project?  I love the message of the story. Diane is a real pastor at my church and Walter was her seeing eye dog until he retired in 2005. The work and life of our church is shown through Walter's point of view. His point view is similar to that of a small child's. They may be able to relate to this.

    What do you hope folks will gain from this project?  I hope that folks who read this story will feel comfortable coming to church- maybe it will encourage an understanding of a church's role in a community. I also hope this story demonstrates how people with disabilities can become leaders in their communities.

    How were you personally impacted by working on this project?  I worked personally with Diane and Walter for several weeks collecting reference for this project. What a team they are! Guide dogs give their handlers incredible independence and help them realize a full life. Walter was very intelligent, and thought he was human. I was struck by the deep connection they had. It was very difficult for both of them when he was retired.

    Who are your influences, sources of inspiration or favorite authors / artists?  As a child, I was so inspired by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Her stories and Garth Williams pictures captured my imagination and made me want to make books myself. As an adult, my inspirations are mostly illustrators such as NC Wyeth, Beatrix Potter, Al Parker And Elizabeth Shippen Green. Contemporary influences include Murray Tinkelman, John Thompson, and C.F. Payne. Like millions of people, I also love the work of Norman Rockwell.

    Anything else you'd like readers / listeners to know:  "The View From Under The Pew" is based on a real life story. Diane and I hope you enjoy the Walter's adventures!

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