Caroline Saunders Talks About Her New books & How to Get Kids to Love God and His Word

Caroline Saunders

Memphis-based Caroline Saunders is known for weaving humor and wisdom to write about faith, motherhood, and everything in between, and she's earned a track record of creating engaging stories that entertain and educate captivating readers of all ages. 

Last fall, she released the first picture book in a series for children, Story of Water (B&H Kids, October 4, 2022), tying in the themes of water in the Bible. This March, she's taking that a step further and focusing on the power of HOME with The Story of Home (B&H Kids, March 14, 2023). 

We are honored to be able to catch up with her on this exclusive interview.

Q: Caroline, thanks for doing this interview with us. Let's start with yourself: tell us a little about yourself and your current ministry.

I'm a wife, mom of three, and a writer. My family and I live in north Mississippi, where my husband serves as a pastor at a local church. We also have a dog, and he steals snacks from my kids like a ninja.

My goal for just about everything I do is to help others know and love God and His Word, and I take that really seriously. On the other hand, I always have a pretty formidable part of my personality that loves fun. I say that my thing is "taking Jesus seriously and not much else." People think those two things don't go together, but I've realized that taking Jesus seriously frees me from being too serious about myself!

Q: Why did you decide to write books for children?

For most of my adult life, I've been involved with ministry to teens and adults, and after I became a mom, I noticed that those same rich truths I tried to offer to grownups were just as important for kids! I consider it part of my job as a mom to offer rich, wonderful truths to my kids in a way that honors their brains, attention spans, and funny bones. When I had the opportunity to do this in book form, I was ecstatic!

Q: How do you take scriptural truths and make it understandable to children?

I'm so grateful to have members of my audience under my roof! I pay attention when I'm explaining something to my kids, and if their eyes glaze over out of boredom or cross out of confusion, I try again. Over time, I think I've been able to more quickly pinpoint words and word pictures that help them understand. (I bet all the moms out there know what I mean!) Usually even the most complex ideas can eventually be described with simple words. And of course, having a sense of humor about things helps kids focus.

Q: You have released two children's books so far. Can you briefly tell us what they are about?

The Story of Water and The Story of Home retell the Bible's big story by looking at a specific theme. In The Story of Water, I string together many of the Bible's noteworthy water stories (like the flood, the parting of the Red Sea, water in the desert, etc.), and I help kids see how they all point to Jesus, the One with Living Water. In The Story of Home, I take the Bible's home stories (like Eden, the tabernacle, the temple, etc.), and I help kids see how they all point to Jesus, who built the way home and promised to return to set up the homiest home. 

In both books, I take the narrative all the way to the promise of the new heaven and new earth in Revelation. I haven't seen that much in kids' books, but the full narrative of the Bible is so exciting to me and so beautiful for kids to hear!

Q:  Please tell us a little about the illustrations and how they help children understand and connect to the stories.

The illustrations are gorgeous! The Story of Water has lots of movement-with water almost seeming like a character in a book. And The Story of Home is warm and inviting. In fact, the last spread features God's big family around a charming table, and it brings me to tears! I am so grateful for the illustrator, Jade Van Der Zalm. She loves Jesus, too, and I think her faith comes through in the way she draws. I am in awe of her talent!  When I read these books to kids, they really connect with the illustrations, and I think it helps them experience the story on a deeper level. 

Additionally, our graphic designer hid scripture references throughout both books, and kids love to hunt for those! I'm hoping that will encourage kids and grownups alike to open their Bibles and read the stories for themselves.

Q: If you had to pick one piece of advice to give to someone looking to explain stories from the bible and God's love, what would it be?

This is the best advice I have: Love the Bible yourself. When we love something, our love naturally splashes out and impacts other people! (For example, think about how kids are naturally fans of whatever sports team their parents love.) If you want to share God's Word with others in a compelling way, be compelled with it yourself! The practical way to do this is to (1) make reading and thinking about God's Word a priority (if you lack motivation, I've noticed it helps to get fun pens and to enlist other people to read with you), and (2) pray and ask God to help you love it.

Q: Where can we find your book and learn more about you?

My books are available in all kinds of places, like AmazonLifewayChristian Book, etc. is the big landing page for this series, and you can find links to all kinds of places where you can purchase. 

If you want to know more about me, I offer lots of writing, resources, and sometimes ridiculousness on my website or on Instagram at @WriterCaroline.




Tags : Caroline Saunders Caroline Saunders interview Caroline Saunders author children's books Story of Water Story of Home

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