Episode 103: Interview with Kathleen Long Bostrom and Helping Our Children Navigate Their Faith

In this episode, we visit with author Kathleen Long Bostrom about her books for kids and parents. Check out our giveaway! We’ll give away two of Kathleen’s books. Enter by commenting on this blog post or by commenting in the private Facebook Discussion Group

Our Guest: Kathleen Long Bostrom

Kathleen Long Bostrom, a Presbyterian minister who now writes fulltime, followed her dreams and created a career that focuses on her two passions in life: her faith and writing.

First, Kathy earned a master of arts in Christian education and a master of divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, New Jersey, as well as a doctor of ministry in preaching degree from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago. Then, in the early nineties, Kathy started writing articles about her faith. And by the end of the decade she was writing books. To date, Kathy has published over three dozen articles and more than 50 books.

Her books — primarily for children — include the award-winning Little Blessings series and multiple VeggieTales books.

Writing about faith has proved to be a successful combination for this prolific author. Kathy’s books have sold close to three million copies and have been translated into 22 languages including Chinese, Russian and Indonesian. In fact, she once found Italian translations of her Little Blessings books at the Vatican bookstore in Rome, Italy.

Another passion of Kathy’s is her family. She and her husband Greg live in Carlsbad, California. When she’s not writing, Kathy loves taking walks with her dog, Ellie, who she refers to as her little empty-nest dog. Her three grown children followed their own dreams and moved to Los Angeles to work in the film industry. Two were married in 2021, adding to the family.

Kathy is represented by Rachel Kent of Books & Such Literary Agency. To learn more about her or her writing, please go to www.kathleenlongbostrom.com.

Latest Books

Mama is Having a Baby (WaterbrookMultnomah), a picture book coming in 2023!

VeggieTales: This Little Light of Mine (WorthyKids Children’s Books)

It’s summer, and the Veggies are going camping. But Junior has a problem—he’s afraid of the dark. His friends reassure him pointing out all the different types of light around them, from flashlights to campfires to lighthouses. But most importantly, they remind him that God lights his path and shines through him to others. This charming tale will comfort little ones and inspire them to let their light shine.

Will You Be Friends With Me? (WorthyKids Children’s Books)

Making friends can sometimes be daunting for children. They may worry no one will like them or that they are different from everybody else. But Will You Be Friends with Me?helps kids realize they can be friends with all kinds of people, even those who are different from them. This story is great for children heading to school for the first time, or going into a new situation. Gentle and lyrical, it’s a celebration of friendship and diversity.

The Worst Christmas Ever (Flyaway/WJKP Books, 2019)

Now that his family has moved to California, Matthew has doubts as the holiday season approaches. Palm trees? No snow? And to top it off, the sudden disappearance of his beloved dog, Jasper, settles it. This will be the worst Christmas ever. Or will it? Surprising events on Christmas Eve just might change everything.

The View at the Zoo (Board Book Version, WorthyIdeals Children’s Books, 2019)

As morning dawns, the zookeeper makes his rounds, exhorting animals to wake up, comb their hair, and stand up straight. When human visitors arrive, the observations begin to flow. But just who is talking about whom? With a clever twist and a new, sturdy board book format, this book will have even the youngest children begging for a trip to the zoo.

Past Books

  • The Bible Explorer’s Guide People and Places: 1,000 Amazing Facts and Photos (Zondervan, 2019)
  • VeggieTales: Count Your Blessings (WorthyIdeals Children’s Books, 2017)
  • VeggieTales: Hooray! It’s Easter Day! (WorthyIdeals Children’s Books, 2017)
  • That’s So Weird! 100 Fun and Fascinating Facts About the Bible, (Museum of the Bible Books, 2017)  
  • Stories from the Bible (Frances Lincoln Children’s Books, 2016)
  • VeggieTales: Veggies on Vacation Activity Book (WorthyIdeals Children’s Books, 2016)
  • VeggieTales: This Little Light of Mine (Ideals Children’s Books, 2015)
  • VeggieTales: Count Your Blessings Activity Book (Ideals Children’s Books, 2015)
  • Easter Stories and Prayers (Tyndale House Publishers, 2015) — Little Blessings collection 
  • Good Night, God! (Ideals Children’s Books, 2014)
  • Good Morning, God! (Ideals Children’s Books, 2014)
  • Rufus and Ryan Give Thanks (Ideals Children’s Books, 2014)
  • Rufus and  Ryan Celebrate Easter (Ideals Children’s Books, 2014)
  • Rufus and Ryan Say Their Prayers (Ideals Children’s Books, 2013)
  • Rufus and Ryan go to Church (Ideals Children’s Books, 2013)
  • Bedtime Stories and Prayers, (Tyndale House Publishers, 2013) — Little Blessings collection        
  • Daily Feast: Meditations from Feasting on the Word, Year A (Westminster John Knox Press, 2013) — co-editor
  • Daily Feast: Meditations from Feasting on the Word, Year C (Westminster John Knox Press, 2012) — co-editor
  • Daily Feast: Meditations from Feasting on the Word, Year B (Westminster John Knox Press, 2011) — co-editor
  • The View at the Zoo (Ideals Children’s Books, 2011)
  • Making Space for the Spirit: 100 Simple Ways to Nurture Your Soul (Westminster John Knox Press, 2010)
  • 99 Ways to Raise Spiritually Healthy Children (Westminster John Knox Press, 2010)
  • 99 Things to Do Between Here and Heaven (Westminster John Knox Press, 2009)
  • What is the Bible? (Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2009) — Little Blessings series
  • Who Made the World? (Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2009) — Little Blessings series
  • Questions from Little Hearts (Tyndale House Publishers, 2009) — Little Blessings series
  • Waiting for Christmas: The Story of the Advent Calendar (Zonderkidz, Inc., 2006)
  • Why is There a Cross? (Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2006)
  • Josie’s Gift (Broadman and Holman Inc., 2005)
  • Finding Calm in the Chaos: Christian Devotions for Busy Women (Westminster John Knox Press, 2005)
  • The Day Scooter Died: A Book About the Death of a Pet (Zonderkidz Inc., 2005)
  • The Secret of the Twelve Days of Christmas (KiwE Publishing, Inc., 2005)
  • Easter, Easter, Almost Here! (Zonderkidz, Inc., 2005)
  • When Pete’s Dad Got Sick: A Book About Chronic Illness (Zonderkidz, Inc., 2004)
  • Paul’s Call: How Paul Became A Christian (Geneva Press, 2004) 
  • Sunrise Hill: An Easter Story of Faith, Inspiration, and Courage (Zonderkidz, Inc., 2004)
  • Mary’s Happy Christmas Day (Zonderkidz, Inc., 2003)
  • Green Plagues and Lamb: The Story of Moses and Pharaoh (Geneva Press, 2003)
  • The Snake in the Grass: The Story of Adam and Eve (Geneva Press, 2003)
  • Winning Authors: Profiles of the Newbery Medalists, 1922-2002 (Libraries Unlimited, 2003)
  • Papa’s Gift: An Inspirational Story of Love and Loss (Zonderkidz, Inc., 2002)
  • Thank You, God! (Tyndale House Publishers, 2002)
  • What is Prayer? (Tyndale House Publishers, 2002)
  • Song of Creation (Geneva Press, Presbyterian Publishing Corporation, 2001)
  • God Loves You (Tyndale House Publishers, 2001)
  • Are Angels Real? (Tyndale House Publishers, 2001)
  • What About Heaven? (Tyndale House Publishers, 2000)
  • The Value-Able Child: Teaching Values to Children Grades K-2 (Good Year Books, 1999)
  • Who is Jesus? (Tyndale House Publishers, 1999)
  • What is God Like? (Tyndale House Publishers, 1998)
  • The World That God Made (Tyndale House Publishers, 1997)

Periodicals & Anthologies

  • “In Praise of Sloth,” Horizons, November/December 2021
  • “Ordinary Time, Part 2,” Presbyterians Today, September/October 2020
  • “Ordinary Time, Part 1,” Presbyterians Today, July/August 2020
  • “These Days: Daily Devotions for Living by Faith,” Presbyterian Publishing Corp., spring 2019
  • “These Days: Daily Devotions for Living by Faith,” Presbyterian Publishing Corp., summer 2019
  • “Celebrating Holy Week with Children,” The Presbyterian Outlook, February 29, 2016
  • “Advent Calendar: Decluttering Christmas,” Presbyterians Today, December 2014
  • “Identity Crisis,” Horizons, January/February 2014
  • Common English Bible (Christian Resources Development Corp, 2011) — consulting editor
  • “Becoming a Wise Woman,” Horizons, November/December 2011
  • “Using Children’s Literature to Teach in the Church,” The Clergy Journal, March/April 2009
  • “Something About Mary,” Horizons, November/December 2007
  • “Too Close for Comfort,” Horizons, March/April 2007
  • “For Everything, a Season: Presbyterian Women’s Annual Bible Study, 2005-2006,” Horizons, March 2005
  • “Advent Calendar: The Hymns of Advent,” Presbyterians Today, December 2004
  • “These Days: Daily Devotions for Living by Faith,” Presbyterian Publishing Corporation, 2004
  • “Tuesday Mourning: Remembering David Steele,” The Presbyterian Outlook, November 2001
  • “These Days: Daily Devotions for Living by Faith,” Presbyterian Publishing Corporation, 2000
  • “A Gathering of Hearts: Six Decades of Memories of Miller Chapel,” inSpire, Spring 1999
  • “These Days: Daily Devotions for Living by Faith,” Presbyterian Publishing Corporation, 1999,
  • “Children of Clergy Couples,” The Christian Ministry, September/October 1998
  • “Effective Clergy Couples,” The Christian Ministry, May/June 1997
  • “Hiding in the Dark,” The Christian Ministry, January/February 1997
  • “Prayer: Hot Line to Heaven – NOT!” Horizons, March/April 1995
  • Shining Lights: Mon Valley Ministries (Mon Valley Ministries, 1994) — anthology
  • “Praise God for Problems!” Horizons, November/December 1993
  • “This Call’s for You,” A Christian Vocation Workbook for Congregations, 1993
  • Shining Lights: Mon Valley Ministries (Mon Valley Ministries, 1993) — anthology
  • “Feasting on the Word: Preaching the Revised Common Lectionary, Year B,” Westminster John Knox Press) — six articles

Awards & Accolades

  • Northern Lights Book Award finalist (religious/spirituality) forStories from the Bible, 2019
  • David Steele Distinguished Writer Award, Presbyterian Writers Guild for body of work, 2014
  • Distinguished Alumna Award, Princeton Theological Seminary for contribution to field of  children’s literature and service in ministry, 2013
  • Inclusion in “Something About the Author,” and “Contemporary Authors” — two of the premiere reference sources for information on children’s authors, 2003, 2012, and 2020 editions
  • 2000 Gold Medallion Award finalist, Outstanding Book in Christian Publishing, Who is Jesus?
  • 2001 People’s Choice Award nominee for What About Heaven? Evangelical Christian Publishing Association
  • “This Call’s for You,” A Christian Vocation Workbook for Congregations, Christian Vocation and Enlistment Services, Presbyterian Church (USA), prize winning sermon, 1993
  • Shining Lights: Mon Valley Ministries, Small Church Preaching Awards — two first-prize sermons and two honorable mentions, 1993
  • Shining Lights: Mon Valley Ministries, Small Church Preaching Awards— one first-prize sermon and one honorable mention, 1992  

Workshop Facilitator & Speaker

  • “Christian Children’s Books Online Conference,” Speaker and panelist, October 2020, May 2021, October 2021.
  • “The ABC’s of Writing Poetry for Children,” MayFest, SCBWI-San Diego, CA, facilitator, 2020
  • “Publishing in Color,” conference, University of Southern California, workshop leader, 2019
  • “Publishing in Color,” conference, University of Southern California, workshop leader, 2019
  • “The ABC’s of Writing Poetry for Children,” MayFest, SCBWI-San Diego, CA, facilitator, 2018
  • “Writing for the Faith Market,” Mid-Winter Retreat, SCBWI-San Diego, CA, facilitator, 2017
  • “Writing and Publishing Children’s Books,”             Frederick Buechner Writer’s Workshop, Princeton Theological Seminary, facilitator, 2016
  • Massanetta Springs Bible Conference, preacher, 2013
  • Synod School, Synod of Lincoln Trails, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) event, keynote speaker, 2002

Praise for Kathleen Long Bostrom’s Books

The Worst Christmas Ever

“Expressive artwork in bright colors shines with holiday cheer, even when the smiles are hard to come by, in this text that focuses on themes of faith, family, community, and home.”

—Foreword Reviews

Stories from the Bible

“Bostrom, a Presbyterian minister and the author of the popular Little Blessings series for younger children, retells the Biblical stories in graceful prose full of rich vocabulary, strong dialogue, and humorous touches such as words conveying sound effects. Each spread offers an illustration done in Mirtalipova’s striking style, full of swirling lines and motion. The illustrations are particularly accomplished in their variety of composition, such as a parade of sea creatures swimming across the bottom of a spread or Jonah inside the belly of the whale. Throughout, the human characters all have tan or brown skin and dark hair. A final page lists the corresponding Biblical text reference for each story. This beautifully illustrated collection will be useful in larger library collections and for reading aloud in Christian families and in church settings. (Religion. 5-9)”

— Kirkus

Connect with Kathleen Long Bostrom

Connect with Kathy online:

Twitter: @KathleenBostrom

Facebook: Kathleen Long Bostrom / Author

Instagram: kathleenbostrom

Goodreads: Kathleen Bostrom

Books Discussed in This Episode:

Transcript with Links:

Terrie:

Welcome to “Books That Spark,” a podcast for parents and caregivers, celebrating books that spark imagination, emotion, questions, and discussion, leading to teachable moments with our kids. Today, we have our special guest with us. Her name is Kathleen Long Bostrom, and she has written many, many books. And she’s here to share with us today. Kathleen, thank you for joining us today.

Kathleen:

Thank you for having me, Terrie. I’m happy to meet you. Not quite face to face, but voice to voice. I appreciate you reaching out to me and giving me this opportunity.

Terrie:

Well, I am excited to talk with you. I love your books and I hear that you have a book coming out next year in June. Can you tell us a little bit– a sneak peek about that so we can anticipate that?

Kathleen:

Yes, I’d be happy to. I’m very happy about this book. It’s one I wrote maybe 10 years ago and has been, uh, sent out many, many times and rejected many, many times, but the idea is telling a story in poetry, but rather than using the same format all through a book, which is what I usually do. I wanted to write something where each part of the story was told in a different rhyme format. So I had to think of some different topics. The topic I’m working on or that this book is about is a child getting a new sibling. And so each part of the story, there’s an arc to it. So it begins with the news that there’s a baby coming and nobody asks me and then the excitement, “We’re going to have a baby and they’ll be my new best friend!” And, how exciting. And then the baby comes home and of course, cries and is up all night and can’t do anything. And so then all the frustration with “The baby’s getting all the attention.” And “What about me?” Anyway, throughout the book, then this child becomes the first one that the baby smiles at and they become best friends. So every part of that story is told in a different poetic format. So I start with a Haiku and then maybe there’s a couplet or triolet or a Villanelle. And some of them are very complicated rhyme schemes, where you have to rhyme or repeat the first eighth and 12th line of the poem or whatever. So it’s very complicated, it took a long time to write and get right. And I had interest in it, but I had thought it would be a great way to teach children about the joy of poetry, whether or not they could understand that this was a villanelle, they could see that poetry came in different forms. So that’s basically the format of the book, and it will come out a year from June, picture books take a long time cause of the art. And because publishers work– as you probably already know and have shared with your audience, they work on spring and fall lists that are figured out years in advance. So when they accepted my book a year ago, now they were looking for something for the spring of 2023. So that’s another reason it takes so long, but just knowing it’s in the works makes me very happy. So I’m very grateful to have found someone who loves the story. That’s what every writer wants.

Terrie:

Yeah, it sounds wonderful. And I love books that we can use as teachers to teach different literary devices and techniques. And so it’ll be fun to use that one with teaching poetry. That’ll be great, but the topic alone is wonderful. Many of your books seem to investigate the emotions children experience from joys and special times to dealing with death or illness or questions or disappointment. And I love that you really seem to speak to the child’s heart really well

Kathleen:

As a pastor for 30 years, many of– especially my early books were generated from questions that children had. And as I wrote those books, it was reaffirmed to me that adults have the same questions. They just are afraid to ask. And so dealing with deep issues like, I wrote Papa’s Gift, a book I wrote about a child who’s very close to her grandfather and he lives with them and they’re very much alike. And he dies. I wanted to show that the child goes angry or withdrew, or had different feelings and emotions. And as a pastor, I found that parents had a hard time talking about death with their children because their children were sad and they were sad, and how do you do that? So people come up with comments like, well, God wanted grandpa in heaven. And that’s not,

Terrie:

That’s not comforting.

Kathleen:

Like what kind of a God would take my grandpa away? That’s how children see it. Eventually that might be a comforting thought. But initially you have to acknowledge the sadness and allow the anger or– everybody grieves differently. So I wrote that book to show a child who had to go through a long process of grieving and feeling different emotions until finally being able to remember her grandfather and know that her grandfather’s spirit was there because of the memories they shared. That’s kind of, I think, being a pastor in dealing with life and death and illness and everything in between. Many of my books came about as a way of dealing with those questions and concerns of childhood, which are also the ones we have.

Terrie:

That’s great. Yeah. Well, tell us a little bit about the book you had come out during our wonderful pandemic. Will You be Friends with Me?

Kathleen:

Will You be Friends with Me? Yes. I wrote that book. It doesn’t have any scriptural references within the book, but I wrote it with keeping in mind, the scripture passages that talk about their variety of gifts with the same spirit. And I wanted to show how we can be different from each other and be friends and that in the long run, being different makes it all the better. Because in this book that this child is seeking out a friend and, wanting to find out, you know, “I wake early, you sleep late. My hair’s curly, yours is straight. I say now, and you say wait. Will you be friends with me?” I’m showing like, I’m this way and you’re that way, but can we still be friends? I love the book, but a book coming out in a pandemic is a hard sell. Because doors were closed and there weren’t live events. And so I’m hoping to kind of regenerate some interest in this book, especially with the tenor of our world today. I feel like rejoicing in our differences is really important and that you don’t have to just be friends with people who are exactly the same as you are. What’s the fun in that? I mean, that’s fine too.

Terrie:

Well, and I just love it. It is a really cute book and I love that it deals with all kinds of differences and not just racial issues, not just religious issues, but everything. We’re all so different and we can all still be friends and still love each other. And I just think it’s a perfect book for, like you said, for this time that we’re living in. I think it’s great.

Kathleen:

Thank you. Could I tell you something fun about the illustrations in this book?

Terrie:

Yeah, they’re very cute.

Kathleen:

Yeah. I love the illustrations, but they did something very clever. I want to give credit to the artists of all of my books who have done miraculous and incredibly creative work that really enhances the story. So in this book, in my mind, I envisioned one child talking to another child all throughout the book, the same two children and maybe there would be other children in the background. But what they did with this book is what they told me is called a daisy chain. So you have one child talking to one, a second child. And then in the next spread, that second child is talking to a third child. And then in the next spread, the third child is talking to a fourth child. So you’re bringing in all these different children who look very different. And then at the end of the book, they show all of those children standing by the bus, being friends together. So I think that was brilliant on the part of the artist and the art director. I had nothing to do with that creativity, but I think it made the book so much stronger than what I envisioned. So…

Terrie:

Yeah, that’s wonderful. It’s just a wonderful book. I just love it.

Kathleen:

Thank you.

Terrie:

Now I know it’s not Christmas time, but another one of your books that I really love is The Worst Christmas Ever. And it’s just so great. Can you talk about that one?

Kathleen:

Oh yes. Certainly can. I grew up in Southern California and Christmas never felt right to me, no snow. Like I had never seen snow, but somehow I felt like you had to have snow at Christmas and we’re out riding our bikes on Christmas day and, something just felt wrong about that. Now I appreciate it. But I went to Princeton Seminary where I met my husband and saw snow and then lived in the Midwest for 30 some years. And it was a long time. I wrote this book when our church family had suffered a great loss of a young man that was killed in Afghanistan and our whole church was grieving. And then my father died. It was a tough year and everyone watched this boy grow up. And Greg and I, my husband and I started a tradition of writing stories for the Christmas Eve service, because we had so many children in church and I wanted to address the fact that Christmas just didn’t feel the same, but I didn’t want to be talking about death. So I chose to do a child whose family moves to a new home and nothing feels right; Christmas doesn’t feel right, there’s no snow. And it’s cause they move from the Midwest, where I was living, to California, where I now live and where I grew up. So that was the, the genesis of the book was trying to address change and how in the midst of that, Christmas comes, Christ is born, and that’s the miracle that no matter where we are physically or emotionally, Jesus comes to us.

Terrie:

Yeah, it’s beautiful. I just love that one. There are so many books. We can’t talk about all your books. Just have to tell everyone the link will be in the show notes and you can check out all her books. But I do want you to talk about That’s So Weird is that one still in print?

Kathleen:

That’s So Weird is what they call a write-for-hire where a publisher comes to my agency, my literary agency and says, do you have anyone who could write this book? And they suggested me. My agent did, and it worked. So I thought that would be a fun challenge. Like all the strange things in the Bible. Did you know this weird thing and how tall would Goliath be next to an elevator? You know, trying to put strange things in the bar. This person ate bugs or, so it was really fun to investigate and to read through the scripture. I always- when I’m writing books like that or any of my books really, it digs me deeper into the scripture. And I love that part of it like the hide and seek kind of things, the searching for, or what is the Bible saying to me? And that one was fun just because there are a lot of really strange things in the Bible that most people might not know about.

Terrie:

I want to take some time to talk about a couple of your books written for parents specifically. And one I just love is the 99 Ways to Raise Spiritually Healthy Children. And I have to read, if you don’t mind, in the introduction, your very first paragraph, it says “At last! Here it is in one manageable book. Everything you need to know to raise spiritually healthy children, simply plow through the list of 99, check them off as you go and voila! You are assured children who will overflow with spiritual health for the rest of their life.” And then you say “If only this were possible.” And I just, you had me at the introduction when I read that, I thought, yes! Cause it’s what we’re all looking for and we all know it’s just not there. I have to recommend this book. It’s so wonderful.

It has short, short chapters. So if you’re a busy parent, you can read and really pray about the scripture and the idea of how can I, you know, add this to my parenting repertoire and one of my very favorite, and I’m not letting you talk about it, I’m talking about it. But one of my very favorite chapters is chapter two. It’s called Allow Room for Doubt. And I think this chapter alone is worth the whole book, in my opinion because you know, I’m a pastor’s wife too, and we can get so caught up in the performance mentality, trying to help your children be perfect and good little angels and not get judged all the time because they’re just normal kids who do normal ornery things and you don’t want them questioning. I remember when I was a young mom, just, oh, you know, “Save them, Jesus, save them Jesus!”, You know, wanting them to open their hearts to follow Jesus. And once they did, you kind of “phew!”, you know, but that’s not all there is to it. They’re going to hit teenage years. They’re going to have doubts. And doubting, I just love how- I have to read part of this too. You say “Doubts can be aimed at the very existence of God, is God just a figment of our imaginations? Doubts can also be a way of figuring out how God works or doesn’t work. I don’t think God really cares about people or there wouldn’t be so many terrible things that happen. In either case, doubts are a way of wrestling with the doctrines we’ve been taught so that we can come to affirm understanding of what we believe based on our own experience of God.” And then you said, “Doubts can help us clarify what we already believe or lead us into a deeper understanding of issues we never had thought about before. Doubts make us think deeply about what we truly believe. Our most troubling doubts may lead to our greatest affirmations of faith.” And I just thought, how freeing and how wonderful is that? Because as a parent, we don’t want to admit: we have doubts when we’re talking to our children because we don’t want them to doubt. And when our children are wrestling, I feel like we’re just like pins and needles because we want them to come out on the right side of that doubt. And this was just such an encouragement to realize, David doubted, even John the Baptist said, “Is he really the Messiah?” You know, at one point when he was imprisoned and he was having- it seems to me anyway, that he was kind of doubting at that point. And I just love that you included this chapter.

Kathleen:

You have doubting Thomas. My husband’s always really loved doubting Thomas, one of the beloved disciples. And he says, “If I could only do this.” And put my hands in your wounds, but what happens when Jesus does come and speak to him, he doesn’t have to do that. I think it’s interesting. Never has to put his hands in the wounds. He just believes. But because I feel like that’s such an affirmation of the doubt, Jesus doesn’t condemn or deride or outcast, or “Be gone with you!” It’s more if you need me in this way here I am. And I think there are a lot of strains of religion that if you doubt, what’s wrong with you? And you just sort of suppress things then, and I wanted children and parents to say, doubts are good. Like, you’re right. I have people say, I’m not sure about God, this, that. I said, just the fact that you have questions and doubts say that there’s something there. You’re questioning something that you have believed in and deeply do, and God can take it. Why do we think God can’t take it? I mean, the Psalms are full of doubt and cries of pain and where are you? And why have you forsaken me? Even Jesus says that on the cross. And there are many instances of doubt, but Jesus never cast those people aside. It’s how we explore deeper into our faith. And so I appreciate that you pointed that one out because I put that one early in the book. It seemed really important. It came out a while ago. I’d kind of like to, pardon the word, resurrect it a bit, encourage churches. It’s a great way to have a Bible study or a connecting group for young families.

Terrie:

Another book I have not read, but it looks really wonderful is The Value-Able Child. Can you tell us about that one?

Kathleen:

Yes. That was written way long time ago. I was first starting out as a writer in the late 90s and a woman joined our church in Illinois, who was an editor at that time with an educational publisher. And we became friends. In fact, we’re still the best of friends. So she suggested this book on writing about values for children. That book was written to also enhance homeschool, who are teaching values to children and perhaps even church school. It has chapters in it and sing song rhymes, finger rhymes. And I wrote stories for each chapter to teach children about values, but it was meant to be a very hands-on user friendly type of book for parents and children to use together.

Terrie:

That’s great. And we’re always talking on our show here about teaching values and how we can, you know, bring that into the conversation with our kids and help them to not only embrace, but to internalize the values that we hope they have. So this would be great. Thank you so much for what you’ve shared today and for being on the show, I’ve really enjoyed talking with you.

Kathleen:

Thank you for having me on today. I appreciate it.

Terrie:

Thank you for joining us for “Books That Spark” a podcast celebrating books that spark imagination, emotion, questions, and discussions as we disciple our children and help them follow Christ with their whole hearts. If you would like to reach Kathleen, you can reach her at her website, KathleenLongBostrom.com. And there you can find out about all her books and you can reach me at TerrieHellardBrown.com and you can join either one of our mailing lists on our respective websites. We would love to hear from you. In addition, we will be doing a giveaway for the month of June, giving away one of her parenting books and one of her children’s books. And I am so excited to get these books in your hands. The book for the parents is such a great, great handbook. As you heard us discuss in the podcast, and it is 99 Ways to Raise Spiritually Healthy Children and the pointers are short and sweet, but so, so good. And then the children’s book we’re giving away is Papa’s Gift. And this one is the book about loss. And so those two books will be in our giveaway and to be entered in the giveaway, there are two ways to enter: Comment on this blog post under the podcast transcripts, where you can find the links to her books and everything, or you can go, if you are a member of my private Facebook group, you can comment there on the giveaway. And those are the two ways to enter. We would love to have you join the Facebook group and be on our mailing list and hear about what’s coming up in the giveaways that we have, and also have access to the freebies that we provide. If you like this episode, please like, and share, please let others know about books that spark and that we’re here so that more people can find us and can listen.

Your Host:

Terrie Hellard-Brown writes and speaks to help children and adults find God’s purpose and plan for their lives. She teaches workshops and writes devotional books, children’s stories, and Christian education materials.

Her podcast, Books that Spark, reviews children’s books that spark imagination, emotion, questions, and discussion leading to teachable moments with our kids. Her podcast posts each Tuesday morning.

Her blog posts discuss living as a disciple of Christ while parenting our children. She challenges us to step out of our comfort zones to walk by faith in obedience to Christ and to use the nooks and crannies of our lives to disciple our children.

Terrie uses her experiences as a mother of four (three on “the spectrum”), 37 years in ministry (15 in Taiwan), and 32 years teaching to speak to the hearts of readers.

Her motto is “Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be WONDERFUL” and keeps her childlike joy by writing children’s stories, delighting over pink dolphins, and frequently laughing till it hurts.

Giveaway!

4 thoughts on “Episode 103: Interview with Kathleen Long Bostrom and Helping Our Children Navigate Their Faith”

  1. Beverly Zubik Regensberg

    What wonderful books! Our grandchildren have LOTS of great books, but I’ll be getting each home two of these mentioned. It also occurred to me – if their collection is too full (can’t be true!), I could possibly donate to their local public library in their honor or their school in remembrance of their birthday. Thank you, Terrie!

    1. Terrie Hellard Brown

      I love it! And donating to a pubic library or even requesting the books at the library is very helpful. Every library needs these books.

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