I am so excited to be reviewing four amazing children’s board books by author Callie Grant. Read on to learn more and to find out how you can enter to win a tote from Graham Blanchard.
“And you shall love Yahweh your Elohim with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” Mark 12:30
All of Me That You Cant See features a little boy who is just beginning to learn that it’s what’s on the inside that counts. His heart, mind, strength, and soul are the parts that he can’t see, but that his Creator can. Those are the parts that matter most. I just loved the colorful, playful illustrations by Jeremy Tugeau. I feel that this is a book young children can connect with and relate to. As a parent, explaining the concept of a soul to young children can be challenging. All of Me That You Cant See presents Mark 12:30 in a way that kids can understand. I really thought this book was fresh and unique. It’s one of our new favorites.
“Make a joyful noise to Yahweh, all the earth!” Psalm 100:4
Your little ones will delight in the fun rhymes and sweet illustrations in Mud Puddle Hunting Day. Follow a little girl as she splashes through Creation, finding joy in the little treasures she encounters along the way. Short and sweet like All of Me That You Cant See, Mud Puddle Hunting Day is perfect for little ones with limited attention spans. I loved this book for the same reasons as All of Me That You Cant See. Another charming book in my basket of faves.
As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. ‘This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you.’” John 15:9-14
This title from the Knowing my God series illustrates this passage from John 15 through behaviors in animal families. Featuring real photos of animals (my daughter’s favorite part) Jesus Shows Me teaches children all about His love for them and what it means for them to love Him in return. From a father penguin snuggling his egg to the carefree joy of a dolphin, this book “shows” how our Father’s love can be found all throughout creation. Each page features a line from the passage, a full color photograph, and a simple explanation about how knowing Him and remaining in His love is so wonderful. Again, I felt that this book took a really unique approach on a subject that is so important to share with our children. My girls love animals, so I particularly enjoyed that feature of the book as well. I also appreciated that Callie included a section for grown-ups at the end with tips on how to share these concepts with babies, toddlers, and children as they grow, a feature included in each of the Knowing My God books.
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
Another title from the Knowing My God series, Jesus Invites Me uses photos of children (and oxen) to explain the invitation behind Matthew 11:28-30. I think I enjoyed this book as much as my girls did. The photos are beautiful and each page clearly explains the meanings behind the lines in the verse. I really think that approaching scripture this way, piece by piece, can be an effective teaching tool. I think, as adults, we can sometimes forget or take for granted verses that we have been reciting our entire lives. I recall a time when I was teaching a group of kids John 3:16. It was the first time I realized that words like “begotten” and “everlasting” needed to be explained. I look forward to reading more books in this series because I feel they will be excellent resources in teaching my own kids about who Yahweh is.
I recommend all four books for parents with children ages 5 and under. These would make great gifts not only because of the scriptural truths they present, but because they are simply fun to read and look at. I loved them, my girls loved them, and your kids will love them too!
Callie’s work as a writer and editor has taken her from the Tennessee Valley to Silicon Valley, where she learned about starting new ventures. In the 1990s, Callie was part of the Scholastic, Inc. product development team in Palo Alto, where she developed a passion for educational publishing and children’s books, later authoring two titles. She and her husband Michael and their daughter live with the family pup in Austin.
An Interview with the Author…
I am so blessed to share this interview with you today and am so grateful to Callie for taking the time to answer my questions. As an aspiring author myself, working with and getting to know other authors is one of the most delightful things about blogging.
I loved all four stories that I had the chance to review. My favorite was All of Me That You Cant See. I felt the message was unique and a great way to explain the subject matter on a child’s level. Which was your favorite of the four to write and why?
Thank you for those very kind words! Each book was so different to write, and came from such a unique angle, that it would honestly be hard to say which was the favorite. That uniqueness led to the development of our Learn, Absorb and Praise book framework. The Knowing My God books, Jesus Invites Me and Jesus Shows Me, were definitely the hardest to write. All of our books have a higher Authority to answer to for accuracy and meaning. There were many phases of reviews and input from a variety of specialized fields—even an animal scientist. But I loved that work. And in all the books, I loved being absorbed working along with God.
When did you know you wanted to write children’s books? Where do you get your ideas?
I’ve always been a writer in a variety of jobs and fields. My passion for writing for children grew from a growing love for them. When I was at the Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, the educational director gave me my first exposure to writing for children. She went to work for Scholastic and offered me an editorial position. I jumped on it. Our ideas for children’s books at Graham Blanchard stem from a deep desire for my daughter—and all children—to have a personal relationship with God at a very early age. Toward that end, as we bring more writers into our work, I will turn more toward getting the books in little hands.
Do you have a particular scripture that encourages you in your writing?
Our whole approach to sharing God with children is reflected in Psalm 86:11-13. I have immense gratitude to God and His love for me. The Scripture that drives my whole life is Psalm 63:1-8. Oh God, you are my God. Earnestly I seek you…” We saw a double rainbow out of our back window at home late yesterday afternoon. And I shouted, “THAT’S my God!” He does the most amazing things for us. Whether it’s in joy or despair or in mistakes (and there are many) “my soul clings” to Him.
Do you have plans to venture into other areas of writing such as non-fiction or books for teens?
Graham Blanchard plans to build a solid foundation with board books in our first few years. We will begin to add titles in the 6-9 age range, and have several good projects in the works, which will be written by new authors. We very much want to enter the 10 & up market after that. Our October launch is really the beginning of a long-term commitment we are making to this space.
What is the best part about writing for children?
Writing for child is a great distilling process, getting down to the bare bones of truth and what matters. But it’s also a poetic and magical time in life, and their minds are so imaginative and open. I find that the best of both worlds. And I dearly love children, spending time with them, hearing what they have to say. Working for them is a happy place for me to be.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
I’m very impressed by blogs like yours and all the bloggers who are writing about their passions for God and people. That is valuable content, and to me, you are already authors. You find the time because you are passionate about it. That seems like the most fundamental place to start—with your passion. Once that gets hold of you, nothing can stop you from writing! And that is really what it takes to be an author.
Thanks to Shelton Interactive and Graham Blanchard I have the opportunity to offer one white Graham Blanchard tote in a giveaway today. This tote would be perfect as a diaper bag or for carrying your library books. Enter now through Friday, October 25th via the Rafflecopter. One random winner will be chosen and emailed within a few days of the giveaway’s end.
What Bible verse or passage do you think would make a good children’s book and why? I love hearing from you! Until then, happy reading!
Yours in Messiah Yeshua,
I received the books featured in this post for review through Shelton Interactive. I was not asked to write positive reviews. All views and opinions expressed are solely and completely my own. I received no compensation other than three digital copies and one print copy of the books featured in this post, which are mine to keep. This post also contains affiliate links. To learn more, please read my full policy.