Today it is my pleasure to feature one of my favorite picture book authors: Laura Sassi. She has a new book titled MY TENDER HEART BIBLE, and I asked her how this unique collection for the very young came to be.
Here’s my review for MY TENDER HEART BIBLE:
This picture book for young children is a beautiful introduction to the Bible and many of its beloved stories. Told in gentle rhyme, each story features a heart moment – a simple prayer for sharing the message conveyed in each story. This addition, along with the colorful and inviting illustrations, gives children a moment to reflect on each lesson and talk about them. A thoughtful addition to Christian books for the youngest children that invites readers to welcome and nurture a relationship with God.
My newest book, MY TENDER HEART BIBLE, introduces littlest ones to twelve of my favorite stories from the Old and New Testament rendered in poetic rhyme which both individually and together point to God’s redemptive love. Each retelling is accompanied by a Bible citation, a beautiful illustration by Sandra Eide, and a Heart Moment of prayer. The book is inspired by memories of sitting with my own children when they were little to read or re-tell (in my own words so they could understand) Bible stories so they could grasp just how much God loved them.
Darlene, you invited me to share my process, first for capturing the essence of each story and, second, for putting it into rhyme. I am so glad you asked me this! It may be the deepest question about my writing and my faith that I have ever been asked and I hope my answer does your excellent question justice.
For me, capturing the essence of each story was a spiritual, prayerful process. This is because, unlike most of what I’ve written, I wasn’t just writing any story. Rather, I was conveying, for little ears, the essence of God’s story, and wanted to make sure I got it right. In creating the collection, I spent hours reading my own Bible, looking things up in various concordances and then cross-checking Scripture against Scripture. I also had several Christian colleagues and friends read the stories with a critical eyes towards honoring the Biblical text.
Once I felt each story was well-grounded, it was my joy to put it into rhyme. Those who know my writing well, know that rhyme is my favorite way to write. With this collection, I had four guiding principles.
First, the story, not the rhyme, needed to come first.
Second, the versification I selected for each story needed to fit the feel of each story.
Third, the story told in rhyme needed to be short enough to appeal to the toddler audience, while also appealing to older siblings (up to age six or so) who might also be joining in the reading.
Fourth, I decided early one that each rhyming retelling would be accompanied by a non-rhyming “Heart Moment” of prayer, because, when we encounter God, it touches our hearts and begs us to respond!
Thank you, Darlene, for asking me to ponder these deep writerly thoughts today. I hope my reflections inspire any of your followers who may be seeking ways to connect their writing with their faith. Blessings, all!
I have a signed copy of Laura’s beautiful book for one lucky reader. If you’d like to be considered, please leave a comment at the end of this post. i will draw one name from those entered.
LAURA SASSI: Children’s book author and poet
Thanks for having me as your guest, Darlene! I’m excited that one of your readers will be receiving a copy of the book!
So am I Laura! Looking forward to sharing it with my readers.🥰
Thanks Darlene. I enjoyed hearing about Laura’s boo!k. I love poetry and teaching children about God, and the illustration is beautiful. This sounds like a wonderful book.
It is a wonderful book that welcomes kids into each bible story in an engaging and thoughtful way. Good luck.
A wonderful book for little readers. It’s never too early to start telling them stories from the Bible.
Thanks for stopping by Janet.
I would love to read this beautiful book. Parents are going to enjoy reading it with their children to help their families grow in faith and knowledge of God working in their lives.
I agree, Danielle. Good luck!
Wow, this sounds fascinating! The cover is beautiful, and I look forward to reading Bible stories told in rhyme. Congratulations, Laura! (and Sandra)
Good luck, Angie!
What a great review and interview. !
Thanks for stopping by Kathy!