I recently signed a contract to write a children’s book with B&H Kids. I’m thrilled for the opportunity to write this book. It’s lived as a mere idea in my head for almost four years. To make a short story long, this is how this opportunity came about.
When I was pregnant with my firstborn—our daughter—I wanted all the baby books. I wanted our daughter and any subsequent children to love books and reading. I registered for all the classics like Goodnight Moon, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, and The Very Hungry Caterpillar. I also collected all the books I could find that would introduce my baby to Bible stories, characters, and simple theological concepts.
However, in my quest to fill my house with baby books, I discovered a hole in the Christian baby book market. I searched high and low for board books about missions or missionaries. I found chapter books about missionaries, but those were geared toward older children. There were few, if any, picture books on missions for toddler-age children. And, at least to my knowledge, there were zero board books about missions geared towards children age 0-3.
I was disappointed at the lack of resources for parents, like us, who want their kids to learn about missions from a young age. My husband and I are both passionate about missions. He served as a missionary in West Africa and now directs the missions center at our seminary. I have spent a significant amount of time overseas on short-term mission trips. We have many close friends who currently serve as missionaries around the world. We believe that the most important work we can do is obey the Great Commission and we want to teach our kids this, as well.
I was surprised that I could not find anything about missions or missionaries for our newborn. As I bemoaned the lack of baby books on missions, my husband said matter-of-factly, “You have an M.Div in Missiology. And you’re a writer. Why don’t you write it?”
The thought had never crossed my mind. I am not a visionary but I am married to one. So, his suggestion set me on a course of researching how to publish a baby book. I found the process to be about as clear as mud. So, I sat on the idea for about three years—through the pandemic, the birth of our son, another move halfway across the country, and a new job with the seminary from which I graduated.
It was this past June when I finally made some progress on turning this dream into a reality. On a business trip with some others from the seminary, I mentioned my idea to one of our VPs, who used to work for the same publisher that will be publishing my book. Long story short, he was able to get me connected with the publisher at B&H Kids, who kindly offered me a contract to write a book about missions and missionaries for children ages 0-3.
I’m so thankful for and excited about this opportunity. Lord willing, this book will be published in May 2024. My prayer is that it will be a good starting place for parents who want to teach their kids about missions from infancy and that God will use it to help kids understand and obey His Great Commission.
Photo by Lauren Mancke on Unsplash