Q) Where do you find the inspiration for this series?

A) This series began as an image of a boy sitting on his grandfather’s lap and grew from there. We were pregnant at the time with our first child, and the notion of passing on our faith was already on our minds.

Q) Can you give us a sneak peak into future books in the series?

A) There is currently at least one more book on the way. It’s called, That’s When I Talk to God, and will be available next Spring (2011). Whereas That’s Where God Is addresses the omnipresence of God, the next book will be about prayer and talking to God. We are just now starting to see some of the illustrations and cover art and we are very excited. Be sure to keep an eye on our website,  for more information. Beyond that, we have at least a couple more ideas we are very excited about, but more on that another time.

Q) Why do you feel it is vital to introduce the foundation of spiritual truths at such an early age?

A) First and foremost, because Scripture says it is vital. Consider the following passages:

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22.6)

But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. (2 Timothy 3:14-15, emphasis added)

You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. (Deuteronomy 6:7)

Whether the scriptures as a whole which lead to salvation in Christ, the Law of God which guides us in our sanctification and righteousness, or biblical teachings in general, we are called to bring our children up with the Lord.

Some people object that such teachings are beyond what children can grasp. In response to that, I think that most people underestimate what children are capable of grasping. Children do not need to be able to completely understand something before it is profitable to teach them. Adults will immerse themselves in a new language not because they understand it, but because they know that by doing so it will lead to understanding.

Parents talk to their babies in the womb and play Bach in the background not because they expect their children to carry on a conversation with them or come out humming Minuet in G, but because they believe it will help provide a foundation for years to come. Similarly, a parent’s steady hand and patient guidance from a young age will, over time, help children to grow in faith and Christ.

Q) What is your favorite “sighting” of God in the book? Why?
A)[Dan]: That’s a tough one. It would probably come down to either the lions at the zoo or the lightning in the sky. These are the first two scenes I came up with for the book and each represent a something meaningful to me. I have always loved a good storm in the night -- the sound of the rain, the rolls of thunder, the flashes of lightning. Also, thanks especially to Scripture and C.S. Lewis, I have always loved the image of the lion as representing the power and majesty of Christ.

A)[Ali]: My favorite isn’t actually part of the story—it’s the “sighting” that the boy makes on the cover. The image of the light bursting through the clouds and the boy reaching out to it as though God himself will pick him up off Grandpa’s shoulders—it gives me chills every time I see it!

Q) What is the most puzzling or difficult question you have been asked by your children? What was your answer?

A)[Alison] We’re lucky—our girls aren’t quite old enough to be asking those really difficult questions yet! But we’re definitely preparing for those days.  I do have to say, though—the other day Abby asked me why Jesus had to die, and while I know the answer, I was stumped as to how to encapsulate it all for a 4-year-old’s mind. Dan happened to be right there, and he jumped in with a really amazing answer that wasn’t trite but wasn’t too long, either. It was definitely a lot more comprehensive than anything I would have come up with. I should have him write it out and put it on our website!


Q) Name three of your favorite children’s books you read over and over.

A) [Alison] The only picture book I can remember really loving was “Pancakes, Pancakes” by Eric Carle (of “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” fame). Legend has it my mom yanked it from a shelf and gave it to me to keep me from screaming through her entire grocery shopping excursion one day, and I refused to let her have it back at the end, so she bought it along with the groceries. I made her read it over and over for days on end, and my mother couldn’t stand the story (“This poor boy just wants breakfast! What kind of mother would make her child do all that work before he’s even eaten!?”), so she actually threw it away and told me it was lost! Fast forward about 27 years to when Abby was born—she and my dad bought me a hardcover version of the book, and it turns out I still love it! (And so does Abby. I’ve read it so often I can do almost the whole thing from memory.)

The books I can really remember reading over and over are the Ramona Quimby books by Beverly Cleary. Gosh, how I loved those stories! I cannot wait for my girls to be old enough for me to read them to them.

Q) What are your kid’s favorite children’s books so far? Please name three.

A) Sandra Boynton books are big here—right now PJ is in love with “Pajama Time!” and can say much of it from memory while flipping through it. “Goodnight Moon” and “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” (and “Pancakes, Pancakes’!) are favorites, too.

Abby also loves “The Jesus Storybook Bible.” We aren’t big fans of reading isolated Bible stories to kids (read “The Long of It” on the Mission page of our website to learn more), but we do like how this Bible shows how the stories of Jesus and redemption are woven throughout the Bible from page 1.

Q) Did you read them your book? What was their reaction to it? Were you surprised?

A)[Dan] Having been in the works for over five years, our girls have heard bits and pieces of the story many times over. Of course, finally seeing it come to fruition and receiving our first published copies of it was exciting for us, the girls included. Sitting down and reading it to them was like putting in the last piece of a puzzle. Reactions included plenty of “oohs” and “ahhs” and “look-at-thats,” particularly thanks to our illustrator, Cory Godbey. We wanted the scenes to be distinct, familiar and memorable and I think Cory managed that perfectly. Every page has something on it that our kids love to point out or comment on, from lions and lightning to dinosaur toys and butterflies. Also, Cory did an amazing job conveying through his illustrations the impressions we tried to convey through our words.

Were we surprised? I don’t think so. Relieved is probably more like it. We wanted to give children something that would trigger their imagination and keep their attention while providing parents with the opportunity to take the next step. I think we managed it. I compared our first reading to putting in the last piece of a puzzle. I was not suggesting that the story was over. With that last piece in place, now we get to step back and enjoy the big picture. Our hope is that parents will take advantage of the story, the situations, and the included Scripture, as they teach their children all about God, His world and His Word.

Q) What do you enjoy doing most as a family?

A)We’re big “let’s get in the car and see where we end up” people. We love to put the radio on and just start driving. We live in a beautiful part of Colorado, so there are lots of routes that take us through beautiful countryside, into the mountains, and through picturesque farmland. (These trips typically end with a treat of some kind, so that makes them even more enjoyable!)

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  1. I love that the inspiration for this book was to pass on their faith in God. It would be great to share this with my grandchildren, it looks awesome.

  2. I'm a follower with Google.

  3. I'm a member of The Book Club Network.

  4. sounds like a wonderful book. Kids need to know the attributes of God and omnipresence is very important for them to know. Thanks for the giveaway. Please include me in the drawing.

    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

  5. gfc follower

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  6. I would love to live it Colorado. It looks so beautiful. Unfortunately, I hate the cold of winters.

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

  7. We own the Jesus Storybook. My son loves it! Thank you for the chance to win.

    estrella8888 at roadrunner dot com

    I follow you on facebook and sent a request for twitter. :O)

  8. Enjoyed reading all comments

  9. true_sheila at yahoo dot com

  10. This was a wonderful interview. I love how they are teaching these truths to young readers.

  11. I follow your feed in Google Reader.

  12. I would love to win this book for my nieces. Looks wonderful!
    LyndaSchab at gmail dot com

  13. I love the fact that we all try to figure out how to teach God to young children. And am always amazed at the fact that many these days usually begin thinking about it either while pregnant or during crisis. This looks like a beautiful book and I am sure my children would love learning and reading it.

    danellejohns at gmail dot com

  14. I follow you via GFC-DanelleJohnson

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  15. I have requested to follow you on Twitter-DanelleJohns(Danelle)

    danellejohns at gmail dot com

  16. I love that my kids want to know more about God and Jesus and how each and everything they see was created. They ask some challenging questions!

    kpuleski at gmail dot com