Episode 164-Talking with Kristin Wynalda about To Halloween or Not To Halloween

In this episode Kristin Wynalda and Terrie talk about witches, goblins, and ghosts in children’s literature and whether we should take part in Halloween or not.

Our Guest: Kristin Wynalda

Kristin Wynalda likes Agatha Christie mysteries, chai, and her job as a mom of four. She reviews children’s books at bigbookslittleears.com. She is known for reviews of secular books through a Christian lens, theology deep-dives of Christian picture books, and curated lists of the best books on the faith market. Kristin believes that YOU are the best person to choose books for your family, and she will equip you to do that!

Show Notes:

00:10 – Introduction
01:08 – Kristin’s ideas on Halloween
02:02 – Terrie’s ideas on Halloween
04:32 – Books that contain witches, wizards, and magic and how we approach them with our children
12:00 – What about fairy tales?
18:10 – What about books for older kids?
23:02 – Recommendations
30:17 – Closing

Books Discussed in this Episode:

Transcript with Links:

Terrie:

Welcome to “Books That Spark,” a podcast for parents and caregivers, celebrating books that help us with everyday discipleship every day, sparking important conversations with our children. Today I am happy to say that Kristin Wynalda is with us again, and we’re going to talk today about Halloween and books that deal with magic and witches and wizards. Well, Kristin, thank you for joining us again today.

Kristin:

Yeah, thanks for having me.

Terrie:

Well, today we want to talk about the ever-sticky issue of dealing with witches and wizards and goblins and the whole Halloween thing and how do we approach that as parents? And I know there’s many different attitudes, but we thought we would share how we’ve tackled this with our children. Now, we come from different places because my kids are grown now and yours are still young, so we’re in a kind of different situations. So why don’t you start, tell us kind of what are your guidelines with your children?

Kristin:

Sure. So it does kind of depend on the year, but most of the time we have a group of friends that we do trick or treating with, and everybody gets in their costume and we go around and trick or treat during the day. It’s not like a nighttime thing cause we have little kids so it’s a more early evening thing. So we do that and then go back to their house and have pizza and everyone stuffs themselves with candy and we call it good, so that is sort of our vibe. I don’t really decorate for Halloween, not necessarily cause I would be against it, more just cause I have a bunch of little kids and I haven’t made it a priority, but we tend to stay away from the scary stuff. I have one sensitive child who is scared of lots of things, so I think that that has made us keep our scariness level a little lower than we might be comfortable with. If one of our kids wanted to dress up as a scary character, we’d probably be okay with it, but so far nobody has asked.

Terrie:

Well, and for me, my kids are super sensitive too, to scary things and weird things. I mean we even hesitated to do Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland because our first daughter just really hated those books and they kind of were just strange and she responded to those, so when it came to Halloween, we just really didn’t celebrate it at all. The only thing we ever did with Halloween is give out candy to children who came to the door. I started letting my kids dress up to do that, but we never went trick or treating. And the other part of it is the harvest festivals at churches. Every now and then we would go take part in those, but we just pretty much stayed away from it. I didn’t decorate for it, I didn’t like it, I just stayed away from the whole thing as much as possible and really emphasized more the Christian holidays and just kept away from it, but it was because my kids were kind of sensitive and I just didn’t see anything good in it. I didn’t want them eating a ton of candy, you know? So even from a nutritional standpoint, I didn’t see anything good in the whole situation, so we opted not to do that, and I talked to my kids about it, and they dress up all the time as different characters and everything, so it wasn’t like they never got to dress up for anything. So that’s just kind of the way we approached Halloween itself. I didn’t think it was a holiday I wanted to celebrate, so we stayed away from it, and they seemed okay with it. They understood, and the only time they felt deprived is if they didn’t get to dress up. So we always let them dress up to answer the door, that was all they needed, and we were good with that.

Kristin:

Yeah, I love that. I think it helps too that our kids’ school doesn’t do Halloween, so that helps our kids not feel like well, see, it’s what everybody’s doing is all the scary stuff, and our kids’ school doesn’t have a Halloween party, so that helps a lot.

Terrie:

I was always surprised, because we were overseas most of the time of their childhood, and in Taiwan, all the English schools started really doing Halloween big time, and it was just really surprising to me because they don’t even celebrate any of the same holidays we do except for Mother’s Day. That’s the only holiday we have in common with Taiwan. They used to have Christmas Day off, but it was because it’s their constitution day, so I just thought it was very interesting that Halloween became such a big deal in all of the English schools, so my kids did have a lot of friends who were celebrating it in their little English schools, but my kids were homeschooled, so they weren’t even a part of that at the times. Then the Christian school they went to for a short time didn’t really celebrate it, so that helped a lot.

Terrie:

Okay, so let’s talk about books, cause that has been a really big issue with my kids. My kids are very avid readers. They’ve devoured books their whole lives, love books, and they also love dragons and tend toward the types of books that might have wizards and witches in them. So I’ll start talking about how I navigated all of that with my kids, then you can jump in and share what you’ve done and then we can talk a little bit more about all that. My kids were fascinated with Harry Potter from day one, but I did not let them watch the movies or read the books until they were older. I just figured they didn’t need that in their lives until they were older. And of course, I mean, you’ve got books like Narnia that have a witch in it and evil and good fighting against each other, so I kind of looked at it as if the book had a witch or a wizard or some evil character, but it was portrayed as evil, fighting against the good, then I was okay with that, like in a fairy tale, Chronicles of Narnia, Wizard of Oz, The Hobbit, Sword in the Stone. Well, Sword in the Stone actually, the wizard isn’t a bad guy. Sleeping Beauty though, Hansel and Gretel– I didn’t read Hansel and Gretel, that one traumatized me as a child, mostly because my dad read it with me and my sister’s name. Instead of Hansel and Gretel, it was Terrie and Tammy.

Kristin:

Oh yeah.

Terrie:

Yeah, he was…

Kristin:

There’s a lot there.

Terrie:

I think. He didn’t want to read us bedtime stories, I don’t know, but anyway, that’s a whole other story. So I didn’t read that story in particular to my kids, but acknowledging my kids’ sensitivity to fearfulness and to taking things too literally and stuff, I was careful about which ones we would read. Like I said, we watched Wizard of Oz and it traumatized my oldest child so we never watched it with the other kids, and we watched the cartoon version of Alice in Wonderland and that freaked out my daughter. She just thought those people are too weird, it’s too strange, I don’t like it, so we never read it with the other kids either because my first child was super sensitive about those things. That helped me to kind of steer away from a lot of stuff, but she loves Chronicles of Narnia and she loves Sleeping Beauty in those fairytales.

Terrie:

So I kind of used her as a gauge as a young mom and navigating all of that, because when I was a child we had books like The Witch Next Door by Norman Bidwell and I loved that book and we would play like we were witches, but it was more playing like Amelia Bedelia; we would dust instead of undust, you know, we would pretend to hang up cobwebs to decorate instead of tearing them down and cleaning the house, so we played kind of that. We weren’t casting spells, we weren’t being evil, but we would pretend that way when I was a child, and it just was not dark. It was not anything related with the occult, it was just kind of doing a juxtaposition to what reality was, so we played that way as a child. We read these books where the witch was the main character and was a [quote unquote] “good witch.”

Terrie:

So growing up with that, when I had kids, I wasn’t as sensitive to all that as maybe I should have been, but now as my kids are getting older, like for instance we have one friend who is deciding she wants to worship Satan. My daughter has a friend who’s in Wicca, and I say “friend,” she’s more of an acquaintance, but still she’s aware that this person is into Wicca, so now that that’s become more of a real serious thing, I’m much more sensitive to it than maybe I was when my first daughter was born 30 years ago. I think the environment, the culture has had a big influence on how I look at these things and then taking my children’s own personalities into account, so when they became teenagers, when they started getting older, I let them decide if they wanted to read Harry Potter and watch the movies. They read the books and love the books much more than they do the movies, and I think they have the whole set of books, but they were older when they read those. I think just being sensitive to them was my main thing. I didn’t want to read books that had a really dark theme or caused fear in my children or glorified the occult, so those were the things that I looked for. If it was demonic activity or something that would traumatize my child, of course I’m going to stay away from that. Something that glorified things that were contrary to God, I stayed away from those, but a book that has a witch in it or a wizard in it or magic in it didn’t bother me as long as it was in its proper place, and so that’s kind of how I approached it personally. How about you?

Kristin:

Yeah, I think I resonated with a lot of what you said, especially about the difference between dark magic and a fantasy world, which I think is one of the lines that we’ve drawn as far as, I am totally fine if my kids read a fantasy book where there’s magic spells, witches, and wizards. I let my kids start reading Harry Potter at 11, so probably a little younger than it sounds like your kids have, but that was just the age that we chose. So a fantasy world like that, we’re very okay with as long as the rest of the book is okay. Unfortunately I have found that some of the new fantasy books have other things in them, aside from the witches and wizards, like inappropriate relationships and that sort of thing, but as far as the fantasy world, we’re okay with the fantasy world, but it’s when kids are in our world in the book, but they’re trying dark magic that is a no-go in our house, so if it’s supposed to be our actual world but the kids are getting into spells or especially in the YA genre, you find a lot of that sort of stuff that’s not for us. I also have a really hard line against Ouija boards.

Terrie:

Oh me too.

Kristin:

Which, there are even children’s books that have Ouija boards in them and that’s not for us. We stay away from that, even if in the book it ends up being, oh it was a joke, it was Uncle Stu the whole time moving the board, like we don’t mess around with that, so that is another hard line. I think overall though, we have been very open to having magic in the books and fantasy, especially cause even the Bible addresses issues like this, so we’re very comfortable with it. I do think though that it is also an issue of personal conviction, so I have a lot of readers who will email me and be like, we’re looking for books with none– no magic. We do no magic in our home. And while that wasn’t the right choice for us, I fully support them. If that is your personal conviction, that magic in books is not right for your family and you have prayed about it and you and your spouse are on the same page and you’re like, “Nope, this is our personal conviction.” Great. Why would I want to hinder what the spirit is convicting you of? So I’m never going to try to convince people to read fantasy books if they have actually thought about it and decided it’s not right for their family. But for our family, our personal conviction is that aside from those darker things I mentioned that we stay away from, that fantasy is okay and a different world, like a Narnia type world is fun and okay in books.

Terrie:

Yeah, that’s kind of been our conviction, and I agree with you. With my book list that I put out, I try to be really clear if there’s something magical in there. Like, I liked Magic Treehouse Mysteries for my kids from second grade on and that’s got a lot of fantasy in it and magic. I didn’t have a problem with that, but I know a lot of friends of mine did and I respect that. I’m with you on that a hundred percent. I respect where people are and what they are convicted that they shouldn’t do with their kids and they know their kids better than we do. I feel like we can help them find books that are appropriate for their families, that’s important, and I think both of us have a conviction to do that for our listeners and readers, so that’s cool. How do you feel about like basic classic fairytales? Cause some of them really do border on dark things, pretty evil things, and it also depends on the version of the fairytale that you read. So what is your go-to when it comes to the classic stories?

Kristin:

Yes, you’re right. A lot of them are kind of creepy, right? Very creepy. So I personally don’t have an original retelling of fairytales that I’m like, yes, this is my favorite. I like a lot of what they call now, the genre’s the “fractured fairytale”. I like those more for our family, so the ones by Liesl Shurtliff, I don’t know if you’ve read those. The first one in the series is called Rump and it’s the story of Rumpelstiltskin, and there’s a book called Red and that’s Little Red Riding Hood. Those are very fun retellings of the fairytales, but she just took out a lot of the stuff that you’re like, The Little Mermaid doesn’t turn to foam in the end of her books like they do in Hans Christian Andersen’s books, so I have liked her a lot. I think a good fractured fairytale is fun. My kids have not been exposed to the classic tellings. I haven’t read Hans Christian Andersen to them because I think they’d be kind of creeped out, especially cause they’re used to the Disney version, right? Which they’re like, “This is not how it ends.”

Terrie:

He was so influenced by his own experiences of poverty and life being so dark and hard, and my understanding is he was a believer. He just had such a hard life and I think it’s just reflected in his stories. I love reading his biography when I was a kid, I had a copy of his biography that I just loved, but reading the actual fairy tales, I’m with you, and then the same with Grimms, of course their fairytales are just awful, but the Disney version or a modern day version, I really enjoy those, and I like to read fairytales from other countries and almost every country has some adaptation of Cinderella, some sort of a Cinderella type story. Those have been fun to look at with my kids and read with them like Princess Furball. Have you ever read that one?

Kristin:

No.

Terrie:

It’s really cute, and she’s not a helpless young woman. She’s a very smart and innovative young woman, she’s not waiting for Prince Charming to rescue her, she’s just smart and there’s magic in it. It’s just really cute. I don’t even know if it’s truly from another country, but it definitely is a different telling of Cinderella, and I think it came from a Scandinavian country. I haven’t looked at it in a while, but my kids loved that book. So there’s a lot of fun retellings of fairytales and fractured fairytales that are just a lot of fun to talk about and to read together that are not gruesome and not dark and still have some magic in them, but are not so awful, so I enjoy those. Okay, and then one thing I was looking at, there’s a series of books that is about a witch. This one breaks my rule because the witch is the main character and she’s not portrayed as necessarily good or bad, it’s like, matter of fact. She’s a witch but the character is so funny, so these are the kind of books where I struggle: should we read them with our kids or not? Winnie the Witch is by Valerie Thomas, have you ever read this one?

Kristin:

No I haven’t.

Terrie:

Well the first one is my favorite, and there’s a whole huge series of them, but I love the first one because she lives in a black house and she has a black cat and she sits on him because she can’t see him in her black chair, and then she trips over him cause she can’t see him on the black carpet, so then she changes him into a green cat, then he’s fine, except when he goes outside she can’t see him and trips over him in the yard, then she casts a spell and changes him to a rainbow colored cat. He’s got a red head, and green eyes, and red paws, and all this, so she can always see him, but he’s miserable, he’s just so unhappy. He just sits in the top of a tree and pouts basically, and the birds make fun of him cause he is so colorful and looks funny. So she’s heartbroken, because she loves her cat. I love the story because there’s a good message behind it. There’s a lot of educational words in there, and it’s very well written. The story is very clever, she problem solves and shows her love for her cat, and changes the situation so that everybody’s happy. I love the story because the moral of the story is good, the problem solving is good, but the main character’s a witch and it’s like, I don’t know. Those are always hard for me because the story is really worth reading, but again, the main character’s a witch, so I don’t know what to do with that except if a listener wants to know whether to read the book or not, just being aware that this is Winnie the Witch, it says it in the title, the main character is a witch, but the story itself is adorable with that one. I probably would’ve read it to my young children and would’ve enjoyed it with them, and then maybe we could’ve talked about “Are witches real?” if we needed to, but I think as children they would’ve just taken it as a funny story. So there’s where I struggle, these are the books on the border to me that I don’t know. It’s very age appropriate, do we make more out of it than we need to by worrying about these things, or do we just skip over it and go to another book that has a similar theme and a similar lesson? So that’s where I’ve always struggled as a parent with books like that, that genuinely are great books but have a witch as a main character.

Kristin:

Sure. I think for me a book like that would fall under the category of “This is a fantasy world where witches exist and this is just some nice witch.” That would be okay, I’m okay with that. That’s very different than “My neighbor next door in my real world is speaking to dead people” or something. I think for me that’d be fine. When you were describing it, it sounds like the ‘Dragon’ books by Dav Pilkey, and those are still great books even though dragons aren’t real, similar to the way the nice witch next door with a flat cat isn’t real. It’s like a fantasy world where the dragon exists, so I think I’d be okay with it.

Terrie:

Yeah, I think that’s the way I kind of approach it. The thing that really bothers me today with literature is as you get into the upper elementary, middle school, high school age, like you were mentioning, YA, the writing becomes darker and darker and glorifies, Wicca, witchcraft, spells. Even though it may be a fantasy world in the book, it’s treated in a way that is too close to demonic things in my opinion. There’s quite a few of those, and I really do get concerned with my grown children now, the things that they read. They’re into manga and those kinds of books, and a lot of them deal with ghosts and demons and things like that, and I am not thrilled with what they read, but they are adults, and they need to make that decision for themselves, but some of the books that they have that scholastic even has on their list right now recommending for young people, and “this is a perfect book for older elementary” and it’s dealing with very adult topics. Not just the witchcraft, not just the fantasy part of it, but within that, like you were saying, they’ve got some very adult themes that I don’t think are appropriate for children of any belief system. I just feel like it’s dealing with things that they shouldn’t be prepared to deal with in our culture today. Of course, they’re trying to get our children into all kinds of adult themes way earlier than I think is appropriate, so that is my concern, and they are dealing with seriously demonic, like you said, Ouija boards, those kinds of things, talking to the dead that I find very disturbing, so I’m not as concerned about the younger children books as I am with the older children books and what I’m seeing.

Terrie:

You can’t even hardly find a title for your middle schoolers that doesn’t have this kind of a theme today. It’s very hard to find books, or they’re overly romantic books. I just think that’s crazy for this age group. So that is something that I am concerned about with younger children who are just getting into their 11, 12 year old age group. They should still have some fun stories to read, they should still have great stories that are just challenging them to enjoy life and be good friends and make good choices, and instead we’re dealing with talking to the dead and people coming back to life and all these weird, weird things that just throw me, I’m just not ready for those things for middle schoolers, so that is one of my concerns.

Kristin:

Yeah, I agree. I think that’s certainly a popular genre right now. There’s some great stuff out there, and there’s also stuff that we have to be on top of, which is why I always say preview.

Terrie:

Yes, for sure, and it’s harder to preview those books because they’re longer. I’ve had parents tell me they read most of the book and they think it’s good and then when you get toward the end of the book, there’s something they totally didn’t expect and their child is upset by what they had happen toward the end of the book, so they really have to read the entire book. Now I have a book club in my newsletter and I have readers helping me, because I can’t keep up with reading that many chapter books and they’re helping me read some of these so that we can share those with our listeners and readers confidently and know that even if you haven’t had chance to read the whole book, we’ve had someone read the entire book and alert us to if there’s a topic, because for instance, if one of the characters is contemplating suicide, for a teenager, that’s not necessarily a topic we want to go away from, it’s one we want to talk about. The parents just want to know that that’s in there so they can be prepared for the conversation. That’s what we’re trying to do with our book club. We’re not necessarily going away to, everything is wonderful and pie in the sky, but we’re also trying to be aware that this one deals with death, this one deals with that, with a serious topic, depression, or anxiety, or whatever. The parents are aware that those topics are in the book so that they can be informed. That’s what we’re trying to do, and I know that Foundation Worldview, they have a book club and they do the same thing. It’s not that they don’t recommend a book that’s really good just because it has something heavy in it, they just let the parents know this topic is in this book and we’re trying to do that as well, and especially with the landscape looking pretty grim with some of the books that are out there, like you said, there are some really good books available, it’s just, we’ve got to weed through and find the ones that are really good.

Kristin :

Yeah, and I think a lot of the fantasy books that are coming out right now, especially on the faith market for that age group for the middle school and up, they are tending towards just really beautiful allegories, sort of like how Narnia was, right, just like a beautiful allegory and fantasy world. Some of those are coming out right now, so I have good hope. There’s lots of good stuff available.

Terrie:

Yeah, it’s true. Alright, so do you have some recommendations that you would like to share with our listeners?

Kristin:

Sure. So there are, like I just said, good faith market fantasy stuff that is coming out right now. Of course I do love the classics so I could talk about the classics all day, but I’m going to refrain, you all know how to Google for good classic fantasy books, but for new stuff that’s coming out, The Dream Keeper Saga by Kathryn Butler is an allegory and it’s set with dragons and unicorns and all that type of thing. It is a girl in the real world, but she gets pulled into a magic world that’s sort of Narnia-esque. That is a great option. I think she’s 12 or 13 in the book, so that’s probably the age range it’s geared towards. The only thing I don’t love is there is a bully in the book. He gets redeemed and that’s great, and it talks about why he’s a bully, but if your child is being bullied, that type of story can be not the best for them, so just FYI that that is in there, but other than that, it’s a good clean fantasy female protagonist. There’s dragons and a beautiful allegory of a prince who’s a unicorn who, not to like spoil it, but he’s the Christ-like character, so you know what happens to him. So that could be a really good option. I also read recently The Dark Star by H.R. Hess. The kids in that book are older, but that also is totally different world, fantasy, dragons, princesses, sea monsters, the whole thing. There is a lot of magic, but they call it mind casting, so people can talk to each other through their minds. So that I was a little unsure of at the beginning, right? I’m like, what is happening here? But in the end it ends up being almost sort of like praying at times because they can mind cast to the God fitting character. So that could be another option to check out if your kids like those fantasy type books, especially if they like the world building type books that have a tendency to get a little bit dark or introduce more serious things like assault or something like that; there’s none of that in that book. I have not read the rest of the series, I think it’s still coming out, but The Dark Star by H.R. Hess is that sort of world building, but Christian faith-based, it does end up being an allegory in the end.

Terrie:

Okay. Yeah, my daughter loves dragons and she’s grown up in a culture that celebrates dragons, so she loves the Donita K. Paul books and it’s… the first book is Dragonspell, she loves that series and she said it doesn’t have a lot of the dark themes at times it gets a little spooky, cause you are dealing with good versus evil, but that, as a Christian young woman, she found it just fine to read it and really enjoyed them. Have you read Ted Dekker’s series? He has a whole series with dragons.

Kristin:

Yes.

Terrie:

I’ve only started one, so I don’t know. What do you think of those?

Kristin:

So I haven’t read all of them. I’ve read some of them, so I think that lots of kids love them and that’s great and if your kids love them, that’s great. They get a little funky because whatever it is that they’re fighting against is fear, like fear itself, and if you can just get rid of all the fear, then the world is okay, and that’s their whole journey throughout the thing, and I don’t necessarily agree with that. I think that the Bible talks about we ‘are’ supposed to fear things, we’re supposed to have fear of the Lord, we’re supposed to fear evil and getting rid of fear is not going to save us. A lot of people really like those books and if my child brought those home from the library, I probably don’t feel strongly enough about them that I would be like, “you can’t read these,” but we would want to have a discussion about the fact that there are actual bad guys, and dispelling fear is not going to turn bad guys into good guys.

Terrie:

True.

Kristin:

I will caveat what I said about his Dragon books with the fact that a lot of reviewers like them, so go with God, it’s just not my cup of tea.

Terrie:

My daughter just started reading them, so I don’t know, and we recently found a whole series of books I’m going to be talking about soon, we just need to finish reading them, but I met the author at the homeschool conventions, and I’m really excited about them, but I just haven’t finished reading them yet, but like you said, there’s a lot of things out there to explore that I think are going to be encouraging to Christian families, so I’m very hopeful in that way. I think it’s The Dream Traveler’s Quest is what I started reading that series by Ted Dekker. Yes, yeah, The Dream Traveler’s Quest. I haven’t finished reading them, but the first one I’ve started, I really kind of like it. It’s a little hard to get into. It takes a minute to kind of jump in and really grasp what’s going on and I’m curious to see how it ends, but it is interesting and intriguing enough that I do want to continue reading them, and he wrote it with Kara Dekker, which I think is his daughter. That was kind of cool, so I really want to finish reading those. I’ll do another episode later on where I talk about some of these other books that we are currently reading and checking out that I hope will be encouraging and give parents a lot to pull from, but as far as picture books, I think we’re good. You can preview those pretty quickly, and between Kristin and me, we’ve previewed probably several hundred books that we can share with you that are good, that are excellent, that give us lots to talk about with our kids that are what we would say [quote unquote] “safe to read” that aren’t too dark or anything like that, so hopefully we can answer your questions if you have concerns about too much magic or too much this or that, and what books we would recommend that don’t have those things, or if you’re okay with that, some really great books that do have fantasy and magic in them. Sometimes the books that have magic are really just talking about how wonderful life is and that life itself is magical, so I think that’s really wonderful to read to children and help them to see that life is figuratively magical, that it is full of wonder, that we can be curious and discover the joys of life and the wonder of this world that God has created. Sometimes when a book says something magical in the title, that’s all it’s talking about, and being aware of that as well. We don’t have to be hyper sensitive sometimes and get too persnickety if we’re careful and really preview and pay attention.

Kristin:

Yeah, that’s true, cause if you went off just the title, like you said, you’d miss out on like The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster, that classic, and it doesn’t have any phantoms in it, it’s just in the title. That’s a book pun.

Terrie:

Alright. Anything else you’d like to add?

Kristin:

No, I don’t think so.

Terrie:

Alright, well thank you so much, and I hope we’ve given people a lot to think about, and we’ve got some books we’ve recommended, those will be in the show notes, and you can find links to Kristin’s website where she has a blog with lots of picky mama reviews of books. We just want to encourage you as parents and hope that if you have any questions, you will ask them. You can go to my blog and comment or ask questions there or on Kristin’s page, you can ask questions there and we always respond, so feel free to comment or ask questions. Alright, well thank you Kristin.

Kristin:

Thank you.

Terrie:

Thank you for joining us for “Books That Spark,” where we encourage each other to live out everyday discipleship, helping to equip our children to follow Christ with their whole hearts. If you enjoyed this episode, please like and share on social media so people know we’re here, and if you can give a review that’s even more wonderful, it helps people know we’re here, and it’s just the way the world is, so we really appreciate you for doing that and taking the time to do that. If you would like to connect with Kristin, you can find her on her website, which is Big Books, Little Ears, and it’s wonderful, she has all kinds of reviews on the website. If you haven’t checked it out yet or joined her mailing list, I highly encourage you to do that, and of course, you can always find me on my website, which is TerrieHellardBrown.com. On either website, you can leave comments or ask questions and we will respond to everyone, and we would love to hear from you. We pray you feel empowered as a parent or caregiver to walk by faith and to embrace everyday discipleship every day with the children in your life.

Your Host: Terrie Hellard-Brown

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.

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