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Best this month The Good Dinosaur

Arlo develops an unlikely relationship with a human boy named Spot in the 3-D computer-animated movie The Good Dinosaur.

Arlo was the runt in a dinosaur litter and is constantly

teased by his stronger siblings. His greatest character flaw is that he is frightened by everything. The family worries about running out of food in the win-

ter. So when they discover that a feral human child has been eating their corn, Arlo is given the assignment of killing him. When he can’t do that, his father takes him on an outing to firm up his resolve to be a hunter. But then during a storm, his father drowns in a flooding river. Alone with no idea how to get home, Arlo meets up with the human child, Spot, and they become friends.

Peter Sohn directs this animated feature written by Meg

LeFauve. It shows us that the way to deal with fear is to go through it. As Arlo and Spot try to get home, the dinosaur must face his fears again and again. He also discovers new allies along the way, including the father of a T-Rex family who honors Arlo’s courage. It is a magic moment for this good dinosaur (Disney/Pixar, PG—peril, action, thematic elements).

A Step Along the Way: Models of Christian Service Stephen J. Pope, a professor

Book We love the way

this children’s pic- ture book begins: “This is a book. Black words. On white paper. No buttons. No bonus levels. Not a single sound, in fact. It’s the most quiet, ordinary thing that could be, until you learn to look closer, and closer ….” Author David Miles (with illustrator Natalie

Hoopes) then reveals how books activate and stretch the imagination, take us on adventuresome journeys into fact and fiction, and enable us to explore the fur- thest reaches of truth and freedom. Books serve chil- dren as friends and tutors. As Miles puts it: “It’s your home when you want to learn. Or you need a friend. … It will never go dark, because it doesn’t need batteries” (Famil- ias Publishing, www.familius. com).

Author bio:

The Brussats publish the website www.SpiritualityandPractice. com where you can find more information about the items reviewed in this column.


in the theology department of Boston College, sees Christian service as a sign of faith, humil- ity and hope. He says compas- sionate service lies at the heart of Jesus’ ministry and therefore is a core principle in living out the gospel. Pope chose six exemplars of this kind of service

and linked them to virtues. They are Dorothy Stang (stewardship), Dorothy Day (hospitality), Mother Teresa (compassion), Martin Luther King Jr. (advo- cacy), Oscar Romero (solidarity) and Pierre Claverie (witness). Readers are sure to resonate with Stang’s steward-

ship of the good Earth and those who take care of it: Day’s rounded espousal of hospitality as a form of spiritual practice; Mother Teresa’s reverence for those whom society has rejected; King’s advocacy on behalf of those oppressed by racial discrimination, violence and injustice; Romero’s solidarity with the poor; and Claverie’s “witness to God’s love of all humanity” (Orbis Books,

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

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