Sanctuary – Especially for Families

Sanctuary - Especially for Families


 Sacred Places by P. Sturges

Places sacred to Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, Christians, and Muslims are the focus of this striking tour of 28 religious’ sites around the world. After a two-page introduction to the five religions covered, the dual-level text begins. For younger readers, a few words in large type comment on the concept of the sacred and its association with specific places, accompanied by three-dimensional cut-paper illustrations. These necessarily general remarks climax in the observation that “some sacred places aren’t made by people at all,” and a picture of the night sky. On a second level, each picture has a caption that, although brief, captures specific practices of the religion that considers that site sacred.



Sanctuary by Wendy Marloe and Joanna Chen

What’s your special place? Inspired by the notion that all people have a special place, Sanctuary explores the possibilities of what this place–big or small, public or private, indoors or out–might be. Drawn sometimes from a child’s perspective, and sometimes from an adult point of view, the illustrations suggest the variety of spaces that may give comfort, protection, inspiration, or peace. Though a picture book, Sanctuary isn’t just a book for children. It’s a joyful, lyrical poem-in-pictures that invites readers of any age to consider the question: What’s your special place?




Stepping Stones: A Refugee Family’s Journey by Margriet Ruurs (Author), Falah Raheem (Translator), Nizar Ali Badr (Artist)

“This unique picture book was inspired by the stone artwork of Syrian artist Nizar Ali Badr, discovered by chance by Canadian children’s writer Margriet Ruurs. The author was immediately impressed by the strong narrative quality of Mr. Badr’s work, and, using many of Mr. Badr’s already-created pieces, she set out to create a story about the Syrian refugee crisis. Stepping Stones tells the story of Rama and her family, who are forced to flee their once-peaceful village to escape the ravages of the civil war raging ever closer to their home. With only what they can carry on their backs, Rama and her mother, father, grandfather and brother, Sami, set out to walk to freedom in Europe. Nizar Ali Badr’s stunning stone images illustrate the story…a dual-language (English and Arabic) edition.”

Our Farm: By the Animals of Farm Sanctuary by Maya Gottfried (Author), Robert Rahway Zakanitch (Illustrator)

“Maya the cow, J.D. the piglet, Hilda the sheep, and a dozen more animals all speak directly to the reader, showing off their unique personalities in this wonderful collection of poems. Master watercolorist Robert Rahway Zakanitch provides a portrait that perfectly captures the essence of each creature. Together the poems and paintings add up to a picture of life on the friendliest farm around.
Maya Gottfried based her poems on real animals from Farm Sanctuary, a safe haven for injured or abused farm animals with locations in New York and California.”




Quiet by Tomie dePaola (Author, Illustrator)

“Everything is in such a hurry, busy as busy can be.
The birds are flying so fast, the dragonfly is zooming over the water—even the trees are waving their leaves. So what if we sit here, you next to me…and we can just be.




Henry David Thoreau and the Still, Small Voice

Henry sat in front of his little cabin on one of his three chairs, listening to the evening. If you were there you might have thought there was nothing to listen to. Certainly no television or iPod. Those wouldn’t be around for 100 years or more. There was no one to talk with, no airplanes overhead, no radio coming from next door. Mr. Emerson’s house, the closest thing to a next door neighbor, was over a mile away (not that he had a radio to play, in any case). Even the natural world was still. No wind rippled the pond, and the birds had stopped singing as night approached.

Still, Henry listened for the tiniest sounds: a small fish breaking the surface of the water and splashing down again, the crackle of leaves as a mouse passed by, the sound of wings as a crow passed overhead. To him, these miniature sounds were music.

Of course, most of the townspeople thought Henry David Thoreau was crazy when he decided to build a tiny cabin from used materials out in Emerson’s wood lot by Walden Pond. Why would a promising writer want to move away from society to sit with birds and bugs for company? In fact, Henry enjoyed the company of Emerson and the other thinkers who shared his Transcendentalist philosophy. However, to him the quiet of the pond and the animals and plants that lived in and around it provided excellent company. Sometimes, Henry thought, the conversation you learn the most from is the one in which the least is said.

As he watched the last rays of light glisten on the pond, Henry thought about the Biblical story about the prophet Elijah, who crawled off to a mountain cave to listen for what God wanted him to do.

While Elijah stood outside his cave, a great wind whipped around the mountains, sending boulders crashing to the ground in the fury of its passing. But God wasn’t in the wind.

Then an earthquake rattled the mountain with a terrific rumbling, but God wasn’t in the earthquake.

Then came a fire, sweeping across the rocks and brush outside the cave, red and roaring and grand. But God wasn’t in the fire, either.

Finally, after all the roaring and crashing, everything became quiet. Elijah stood there shaking, wrapped in his cloak, just waiting. And out of the silence came the still, small voice of his God.

“I’m not at all sure,” thought Henry, “that I believe in that God of the Bible, the one who chatted with Elijah. But whatever God is, I’m pretty sure I know it better out here in the quiet than I would through any ranting sermon. Maybe God is speaking to me in the small voice of the jumping fish and the rustling leaves, the still pond and the stars beginning to peek through the trees. Maybe I hear God when my heart is still and I can listen with my very smallest inner ear. Maybe… .” And his thoughts drifted off with a small breeze that came and ruffled his hair and rippled across the quiet lake.




From Amnesty International “Everybody—a part animation, part live-action short film from our friends from the UK—is a celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for the book, We Are All Born Free. See the 30 rights of the Declaration come alive with illustrations


17 Incredible Animal Sanctuaries


Making Knotted Meditation Beads can help children seek the sanctuary of quiet
Serenity Prayer Bracelets

To help you remember to seek serenity, the sanctuary of inner peace, make this bracelet of three beads.

Finger Labyrinth


Build a Sanctuary

Invite children to build their own sanctuary. Here are a variety of ways:

  • Use whatever blocks or manipulatives available.
  • Consider bringing in a sheet or blankets to throw over chairs and a table.
  • Find a large box and help the children cut out windows and doors
  • Use a small box and build a sanctuary for a stuffed animal or pretend people.

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