Let’s Read: Hush Little Bunny, by David Ezra Stein
This charming picture book follows a father and child duo as they head out to explore the world, all new to the young bunny. Using the rhythm of the much-loved lullaby, Hush, Little Baby, the story is a gentle celebration of the gift of fatherhood in the lives of our children. Give singing it a try!
Stein, David Ezra. Hush, Little Bunny. Balzer Bray, an Imprint of Harper Collins Publishers, 2019.
You can get the book at your local library, your local independent book store, or…
Pope Saint John Paul II wrote this advice for families: “Become what you are.” What are we then, as a family, as mothers, fathers, and children? We are human persons, meant for love. Out of this love, a family is born. We were created to give of ourselves for the good of others. That is how we become what we are.
We do not live in a perfect world. Not all men are able to be the fathers they should be and not all families have a father sitting at the table. Also, not all men are called to biological fatherhood. However, all men are called to bring their unique perspective to relationships – to become what they are. Catholic teaching has long celebrated the distinctive contributions of men and women and the beauty created by their union, the family.
Pope Saint John Paul II* also taught that our bodies express who we are. People know us, hear us, see us, and experience us through our bodies. Men’s bodies say something specific about what it means to be male and women’s bodies say something specific about what it means to be female. For men, fatherhood is an act that is directed outward, starting with conception. With this general tendency to focus outward, fathers help their children face the world with confidence and courage.
We honor our favorite fathers who…
- Encourage their children to explore. Men tend to carry their babies facing out. Their play tends to be more physical and they use everyday objects in unexpected ways. They often give their kids more freedom to explore.
- Do the difficult things. They kill the biggest spiders, carry the most grocery bags at once, and use their strength to surround their family with safety and love.
- Share their faith. Statistics tell us that the most important factor in whether or not a child will have an ongoing relationship with God is the faith practice – or the lack thereof – of his or her father.
- Show affection for their children. Studies have shown that fathers who express their love for their children (combined with firm boundaries) have children who do better in school and sports and are more successful, personally and professionally, later in life.
- Challenge their children to do their best, be their best, and give their best.
- Forgiveness is the gift that binds husband and wife, parent and child, brother and sister. There is no learning without mistakes. Forgiveness heals the brokenness.
- Share their sense of humor. There’s nothing quite like a Dad joke!
Thank you to our husbands, fathers, and grandfathers, who gave their very best selves to help us become our very best selves. We honor you and we love you!
For our children:
Fathers are special people who are made by God to do the particular kinds of things they do. The Bible says that we should honor our fathers. We honor someone when we show respect for them, do what they tell us to do, and appreciate the things they do for us. We show them our love!
- In Hush, Little Bunny, the Daddy bunny takes his child out to explore the world. What does your father help you explore?
- The Daddy bunny also helps his child feel safe and protected. What does your father do that makes you feel safe?
- What are some of the ways that your father is special?
- How can we show that we honor our fathers?
Materials needed: a piece of construction paper, any color; a half sheet of lined paper, a thin-line permanent marker; a pencil; a colored marker; glue or a glue stick, the blessing prayer which is from Scripture (Numbers 6:24-26) and is printed below.
- Trace the child’s hand with pencil on the bottom half of the piece of construction paper. Use a colored marker to trace over the handprint so it stands out. You could also cut it out of one color and glue it on paper of another color.
- On the lined paper, copy the words of this blessing. (If the child too young to print, a parent can copy the words or write them lightly in pencil for the child to trace. They could also be copied and printed.)
- Use the glue to attach the blessing to the top of the handprint paper.
- The child can sign their handprint blessing.
- Give it to that special father (or grandfather, or father-figure) to put up where he can see it every day and know that he is being blessed.
“May the LORD bless you
and protect you.
May the LORD smile on you
and be gracious to you.
May the LORD show you his favor
and give you peace.”
Thank you so much for my father.
Thank you for his arms that carry me and work so hard.
Thank you for his hands that do things for me over and over.
Thank you for his legs that bring him to me and take me with him.
Thank you for his mind that is always thinking about what is best for me.
thank you for his heart that loves me!
Word Every Catholic Should Know
honor: to honor someone means to show him respect and to show appreciation for who he is and what he does. We honor our fathers and our mothers.
*Theology of the Body: a series of talks Pope Saint John Paul II gave. He taught that our bodies are expressions of who we are as persons, that people were made for self-gift, and that men and women each have unique gifts and strengths to bring to the world. There is much more to know about the teaching of Theology of the Body.
What can you do to honor your father this week?
Can you sing, Hush Little, Bunny to the tune of Hush, Little Baby?