When we face our fears we can feel brave and amazing!
Name: Sloppy Takes the Plunge
Author: Sean Julian
Illustrator: Sean Julian
Publisher: NorthSouth Books, 2018
Written for Ages: 2-4
Summary: Sloppy the tree dragon has never had a bath! His friend Dewdrop is a bit standoffish because Sloppy has been playing around in a mud puddle. And while playing in the mud is fun, the muck is all over Sloppy. But Sloppy is a bit afraid of taking a bath. It is something new and he’s unsure about it. There might be sharks or crocodiles in the water. Then, a mother duck and her ducklings come along. The ducklings are afraid to get in the water too. Sloppy decides to get in the water to show the little ducklings that it is not too bad. And he gets a bath! When he is done he feels brave and AMAZING!
Scripture Connection: Scriptures like Deuteronomy 31:8 and Isaiah 43:1 reminds us that in all situations of life, God is always with us. Because God is with us and loves us, God will not forsake us or leave us. This, the scripture writers tell us, is why we do not need to fear.
Theological Connection: The phrase “fear not” appears in scripture about 80 different times. The command to not be afraid is not a simple command. God is not saying that you should not worry or fear about things. But, let’s be honest, it’s not that easy. The command is seeking us to put our attention on God, not the fear or worry. This shows up with Sloppy turns his attention to the needs of the ducklings. For when we turn our eyes to Jesus, we see the needs of those around us.
Justice Connection: Sloppy swallows his own fear when he notices the little ducklings are afraid to follow their mother into the water. His willingness to set aside his own fear to help those who are more vulnerable. Sloppy sets aside his concerns for himself to see to the needs of these little ones. And the tree dragon goes a step further and shows the ducks that there is nothing to fear. It is after showing them that he encourages them to step out.
Faith Talk (God Talk):
- What is something you were afraid to try? Did you try it? What happened?
- How do you think the ducklings felt when Sloppy showed them how to take a bath?
- Could you do what Sloppy did to help others?
Parenting Connection: This is a great book in helping toddlers transition to bath time in the “big tub.” Sloppy looks like a plush toy. The ducklings resemble rubber ducks. And the pond has a drain plunge and floating basket of sponges, brushes, and bubbly soap. Julian designed this book to be friendly to toddlers. Because doing something new can be scary. It may be a good time to introduce a prayer to your child to use when they are scared or worried.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a digital review copy.
You can buy a copy at Amazon or check it out at your local library.