This summer blockbuster is the sequel to the Academy Award-winning 2003 animated film Finding Nemo. Dory, who also appeared in the earlier film, is a blue tang with short-term memory loss. As a young fish, she wandered away from home and now, as an adult, she begins having memories of her parents and becomes desperate to find her way home. Nemo and his father, Marlin, try to help her, as do a seven-armed octopus, a whale, a bird, a turtle and other sea creatures.
As Dory undertakes this noble quest, we identify with her longing to return to the place where she belongs, a place of peace and security.
Although Dory is often overwhelmed by feelings of inadequacy, she manages to persevere through the chaos of new places and many different faces. Luckily this heroine is advised to ask herself: “What would Dory do?” and it becomes her personal mantra and a source of self-esteem (Walt Disney Pictures/Pixar, PG—mild thematic elements).
One Big Family
by Marc Harshman
It’s the end of summer and a large family gathers at their grandma and grandpa’s house. Each spread of this picture book, with detailed and colorful illustrations by Sara Palacios, depicts their activities, summarized by such words as eat, swim, run, sing, listen, shush, watch, play and clap.
Designed for children ages 4 to 8, this book is also great for grandparents or any family member to have on hand when hosting a reunion. A celebration of family fun, it will give you ideas of things you and your loved ones can do together (Eerdman’s Books for Young Readers).
Buechner 101: Essays and Sermons by Frederick Buechner
On July 11, 2016, Frederick Buechner, the prolific and popular Christian writer and novelist, celebrated his 90th birthday. He is the author of more than 30 books—novels, memoirs, sermons and theological works. Published by the Frederick Buechner Center and curated by bestselling author Anne Lamott, the paperback contains a substantive mix of his work. It also features tributes by Lamott, Barbara Brown Taylor and Brian McLaren.
Among our favorite pieces is the author’s “ABCs of Faith” with definitions of art, forgiveness, grace, the Lord’s Prayer, tears and more. Another gem is “The Road Goes On,” a commencement address given at Union Theological Seminary, Richmond, Va., which includes a teaching story about a bleak day when, drenched in doubt, he spotted the word “TRUST” on the license plate of a passing car. In his essay “Faith and Fiction,” the author sums up all that he has tried to say in his writings with the phrase “pay attention.”
All those who have gravitated toward Buechner’s lyrical and profound Christian perspective—and those just discovering him—will find much to cherish in this paperback (Frederick Buechner Center).