Friday, August 14, 2009

Faith 'n' Fiction Saturday: Children's Books

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Welcome to Faith'n'Fiction Saturday! What's this? Read this post please if this is your first time!

Today's Topic
Every once in awhile, I wander into the children's section of the Christian bookstore. And then I wander right back out. I'm not saying there aren't many good books for kids in the Christian section, there just aren't many. But the truth is, I'm not sure we even need Christian children's books, apart from maybe a few at the holidays. (Christmas and Easter)

Are there are any Christian published children's books you love? Do you think we need Christian children's books? Are there any topics or subject matters you'd like to see explored in children's books from a Christian perspective?

My answer is sort of the first paragraph!

Please share your answer!


Fiona said...

Mu daughter loves the Lily series by Nancy Rue.

Fiona :)

MizB said...

My answer's in the Mr.Linky, and here:

((and thanks to this week's question, I went looking for Christian graphic novels, and found a whole website -- linked to it in my post!))


Amee said...

When I was a kid my grandma bought me this series of Christian chilren's books. The Three Cousins Detective Club by Elspeth Cambell Murphy. They were kids that solved mysteries (sort of like Nancy Drew). I really enjoyed them. I have several books from The Beatitude mysteries series and a couple from the Commandmants mysteries series. So I would say they probably aren't necessary since children's books are always "clean" anyway (if that's the only goal for parents), but I think it's nice to have them as an option if parents are looking for a fun way to educate their child on their religion or just prefer to have them read faith based books.

Jenny said...

Great topic, Amy. I'm looking forward to reading everyone's thoughts.

Dani in NC said...

Most children's books (K-5th grade) tend to be written with values that Christians can agree with, even if they don't mention God. I think that starting in middle school, though, kids could use books that show characters actively praying and dealing with situations in a Christian manner. I know that my 12-year-old could use an age-appropriate role model to help with managing her anger and dealing with mean girls at school.

J.T. Oldfield said...

I recently went over to the the "religious" part of the kids' section of a major books store to pick out some presents for my niece's baptism. As my husband and I were to be her Godparents, I wanted to get something that was kind of religious, but fun, too. I selected a Children's Bible, which as an 11-month old, was probably too old for her, but I hope she'll have for a long time, and two illustrated board books of the "Our Father" and the "Hail Mary". Those two were really nice, because while they had the traditional lines of the prayer at the top of the page, they had more-easily-relatable lines at the bottom. I didn't see anything else appealing, but that didn't surprise me. So many childrens' books revolve around a lesson, that I think a lot of ground is already covered.

The best kid-lit books about religion deal with answering kids' questions, but a lot of parents want to answer those themselves.

Marie said...

Again, I know that "Faith in Fiction" is about Christianity but since I work in a children's religious library I'm going to answer about what I think the need is for explicitly religious children's books, whatever the faith is that one is teaching. Yes, yes, yes. I think they're needed. I work in a Jewish school but I pay attention to Christian publishing for kids, and I think Christian religious schools and families would benefit from high-quality kids' books. Yes, a lot of kids'books teach values that are consistent with Christian (and Jewish for that matter) values without being explicitly religious. But it makes a difference for kids to see THEIR lives reflected in books, including their religious lives, especially if they are being brought up in religious communities. Growing up I saw NO books for me about my religion unless they were the Bible. I would have loved to have the kinds of books I get to share with the kids I work with, and share them with my kids too. It seems like the more conservative you go in Jewish books, the more the quality declines; I don't know if it's exactly the same in Christian publishing but it wouldn't surprise me. And that's too bad because high quality- well written & illustrated- kids books make a big difference for the kids who read them.

JS Huntlands said...

Set in today’s day and time, Me and My Best Friend is about a young boy, his faithful companion and their exciting adventures.

Henry and Liam are the best of friends and they do everything together. They can run and play all day long. But when Henry the puppy gets tired and tries to take a nap, three-year-old Liam keeps waking him, wanting him to play some more. Will Henry get any rest?

Get your children involved with this beautifully illustrated book. Your child will love to match up words and pictures, and find Liam, who keeps hiding in his bedroom. Perfect for the young reader!

About the Author

J.S. Huntlands is the author of Nick Twisted Minds and is currently working on more books in this series, as well as 23 more books in the Me and My Best Friend series. Huntlands is a full-time writer, as well as a mom to a wonderful four-year-old boy. This book is dedicated to her son in hopes that he never forgets his best friend.

Chad said...

I'm not sure where to take my response, but I guess a list of comments may work best:
1.) The original post and some of the comments reference "Christian published" books as well, but I think the content aspect is more interesting.
2.) In my opinion, more Christian content for children of all ages is needed.
3.) It would be beneficial to have more content that helps children relate to Christ in their daily lives. Being a Christian is not a semi-annual event (Christmas and Easter), so content modeling daily life as a Christian would help children relate and, hopefully, minimize the comments/concerns about the "preachy" tone of many Christian children's books.
4.) I think we need to be careful about equating Christianity and morality. Being moral does not make one a Christian. In addition, being a Christian does not necessarily make one more morally sound than anyone else. There seems to be plenty of content for children on morals and values.

Brimful Curiosities said...

Whoa, just read this post. Um, yes I think Christian children's books are very much needed especially in today's society. But I agree that finding quality Christian books that hold a child's attention isn't an easy task. Seems too many are putting religious education on the backburner. My young kids love the VeggieTales books and my daughter likes to read the Concordia Arch books with me. I'm not familiar with books for older children.

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