Milo illustrates putting words into action

May 17, 2011 at 4:56 am 2 comments

Milo and the Green Wagon: A Life Lesson to Give by Lisa M. Umina, illustrated by Chad Thompson; published by Halo Publishing International, Cleveland, Ohio; 2009.

When Milo woke up, he told God that he wanted to make a difference today.  With a discarded wagon and the help of his friends, Milo creates the ACT (Action Changes Things) Mission.  Together, the friends collect food and clothing donations from their neighborhood; certainly a way to make a difference.  But the story does not end with collecting the donations: The group spends a day reaching out to the needy members of their community.  They heard a sermon on Sunday and put the words into action through the week.  On the following Sunday, they are invited to share their ACT Mission and are rewarded by a surprise visitor.

Listening to a sermon, whether at church, home or school, is often just words for children, no matter their ages.  With my children, examples from the news often helped illustrate what lessons we were trying to teach.  But how often does a news story correspond to a Sunday sermon?  Thanks to Lisa Umina’s charming character, Milo, the lessons can be brought to life any time.  In the case of this book, lessons about giving are two-fold: We not only are called to collect for the needy but also to get out there and deliver.  Schools, libraries, and other institutions often hold canned food or clothing drives, but how often are the children encouraged to meet the neighbors who need the food and clothes?  I say hooray for taking the concept of giving to its culmination.  I also say hooray for a book with diversity: the characters are multicultural.

From a librarian’s perspective, I was impressed by how much of the story is told in the illustrations, especially at the end of the story.  I am always thrilled when the old adage “a picture is worth a thousand words” is illustrated in a children’s book.  I imagine many discussions about the story being told in the pictures of this book.

Although the book is written from a Christian perspective, the lessons of giving and compassion are universal.

The author, Lisa Umina, is also the founder of Halo Publishing.  For more information, visit their website.


Entry filed under: Picture Book. Tags: , , , , , , , .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. mona  |  May 19, 2011 at 7:28 am

    i work at a parochial school and these would be great in our library………….

  • 2. Nora  |  May 18, 2011 at 6:16 am

    I haven’t read this one. I read Milo finds his best friend. I’ll have to look this one up!!!!


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