Episode 170: Everything Christmas with Kristin Wynalda, Part 1

In this episode we talk with Kristin Wynalda of “Big Books, Little Ears” about everything Christmas. This is part 1 of 2. Next week we’ll conclude with part 2 of the conversation. Find out what our favorite Christmas books are for the season.

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

00:43 – Advent Calendar free download

01:28 – Kristin’s favorite: The Nativity

02:45 – The Christmas Blessing

03:53 – The Good News of Christmas

04:31 – Jesus Came for Me

             Kristin’s tip of the day

06:00 – How the Grinch Stole Christmas

             How the Grinch Lost Christmas

07:00 – How Does Santa Go Down the Chimney?

             Terrie’s interesting childhood

08:37 – The Santa controversy

09:00 – Olive the Other Reindeer

12:10 – Secret Santa Claus Club

13:50 – Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree

14:25 – The Broken Ornament

16:10 – The Holy Night and Little Star

             Bare Tree and Little Wind

17:30 – The Night Tree

20:10 – Christmas Is Coming

20:40 – The Worst Christmas Ever

             Twas the Evening of Christmas

             Little Mole’s Christmas Gift

             Mouse’s Christmas Gift

21:28 – Light in the Darkness

22:10 – 101 Dalmations

23:33 – A Christmas Carol

             Monkey Shine Media

24:33 – Nicholas

27:42 – Closing

             Big Books, Little Ears

             TerrieHellardBrown.com

Books Discussed in This Episode:

Transcript:

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, Kristin Wynalda is with us again, and we’re going to talk about everything Christmas: Christmas books, a little bit of Christmas movies, and all kinds of Christmas topics. Well, Kristin, thank you for joining us again today, and we’re going to talk about Christmas books. I’m so excited.

Kristin:

Me too. I love Christmas, and I think some of the best books are holiday books.

Terrie:

I agree. So first of all, before I forget, every year I put out an Advent calendar, and it is a free download on my website. You can find the link in the show notes for this episode. You can just download that and print it out. And you have books to read through the whole month of December leading up to Christmas. So I just wanted to let people know that is available, and you can find that on my website, TerrieHellardBrown.com, and as we jump into this, what I’ve done is choose some books that are new to me or new this year. So first, Kristin, what have you chosen to share about Christmas books this year?

Kristin:

Oh man. Do you want to start with picture books or chapter books?

Terrie:

Let’s start with picture books and then we’ll go on.

Kristin:

Sure. So I wanted to share my absolute favorite Christmas picture book, which is The Nativity Illustrated by Julie Vivas. Have you seen that one?

Terrie:

I don’t think so.

Kristin:

Okay, so it’s older but not super old. You can still get it fairly easily, and there are multiple editions of it which have come out. So it’s like in paperback and hardcover and all those things, and it is the text from Luke 2, and just really beautifully illustrated, but a little bit funky, like Gabriel has purple hair and wears Doc Martens.

Terrie:

Oh, how funny.

Kristin:

It’s so beautiful, and just the way the shepherds are at the manger, and I just love that book. So, Mary is like hugely pregnant and struggling to get on the donkey and just a lot of really beautiful things, but the text is literally the NIV of Luke 2. It’s just a really beautiful book. So that is my number one Christmas picture book, I can say it for sure. A lot of the other holidays, you know, I kind of be like, oh, there’s like a top three. No, no Christmas, this is my number one. I love The Nativity by Julie Vivas.

Terrie:

Oh, I love that. That’s great. Okay. I didn’t think of my absolute favorite. I should have done that. Oh well, that’s okay.

Kristin:

It’s hard, isn’t it?

Terrie:

Yeah, it is! Well, speaking of nativity, I found one that I had never seen before that is a little bit different. I like it and don’t like it at the same time. It’s called The Christmas Blessing: A One-of-a-kind Nativity Story for Kids About The Love That Brings Us Together. What I love about it is it has a wonderful message about cooperation, acceptance, working together, and celebrating Christ’s birth. What I don’t like about it is it almost misses too much of the story. The narrator, the main speaker in the story, is a star, so there’s personification there. It’s the Bethlehem Star, it’s the one that led the wise men to the stable, but it’s focusing more on cooperation and love between people and between, well, animals in this case, and getting the stable ready for the Messiah. That’s what I like about it, but like I said, it almost misses too much of the Bible story because it’s focusing more on these animals’ relationships, but it is a very cute story and I think that it would be a fun one to add to your library, but it wouldn’t be the only one I would read at Christmas for sure.

Terrie:

Then there’s a book called The Good News of Christmas: Celebrating the Glory of Christ’s Birth Story by Rousseaux Brasseur and illustrated by Sian James. This one is a lyrical telling of the nativity story, and it’s beautifully illustrated and really tells the gospel message and the joy and the good news of Christ’s coming, so that one I really like. I hadn’t seen this one before. It came out at the end of ’22, so it’s fairly new on the market. That one I thought was really nice. So as far as some nativity ones that I just discovered, those two I kind of like.

Kristin:

Yeah, I love those books that bring in the gospel too. I think my favorite Christmas book that also is, “This is why Jesus was born” though, is Jesus Came for Me by Jared Kennedy. I don’t know if you’ve read that one. It’s a board book, but there’s a lot of text and it’s fairly heavy, so don’t get confused. Even though it’s a board book, if you’re like, oh, this is only for toddlers. Like I recommend it for all ages. It’s Christmas, it’s all about Christmas. There’s Christmas trees throughout and that type of thing, but the point is, why did Jesus come? He came to save us. I love those gospel books that are Christmas but still gospel, and I tell my readers too, if you are like, “I don’t have that many Christmas books to pull out at Christmas time,” pull out all your Easter books too, because the whole point of Christmas is Easter. So if you want to swap out books for Christmas books, but you don’t want to have to buy a bunch of Christmas books, just have a couple Christmas books, have a couple of Easter books and pull them both out because that’s the whole point.

Terrie:

That’s right. Amen. Talking about how they bring in the gospel in this one, what I love is one of the first spreads in this book is it shows the Bible and the Bible’s kind of opened but not flat. The pages are all kind of like a fan, and it talks about how we’re kind of jumping into the middle of the story here with the Christmas story. This is how God’s plan has unfolded from the beginning, and I just love that it connects that from creation to heaven in this very first spread in the book, and it’s really well done, really pretty illustrations too. So yeah, that’s why I really like this one.

Terrie:

Okay. There’s a couple new books coming out this year that I haven’t read yet, of course, because they haven’t launched yet, and one I’m very excited about, because one of my favorite books is How the Grinch Stole Christmas. I just have always loved that story, loved that book, and now they’re coming out with one written in the same style called How The Grinch Lost Christmas. It’s by Alastair Heim and illustrated by Aristedes Ruiz, and it is lyrically written very similar to the original book and is a sequel to it, and I can’t wait to see this one. I think it’s going to be great. The Grinch has decided to show Whoville that he really is a changed man. It wasn’t just that one time that his heart really has grown and he’s a new person. He wants to show them that by entering this contest they’re having down in Whoville and it doesn’t go as he wanted it to, so he has a little temper tantrum, and I’m sure it’s Cindy Lou who helps him understand that Christmas is not about winning, but about sharing or whatever, but it just says one of the people in Whoville teaches him. So I’m anxious to read that one. I think that one will be a lot of fun. Then there’s one coming out; this one comes out September 5th, so by the time this airs it will be out, but when we’re recording it, it isn’t out yet.

Terrie:

Another one that’s coming out in September is How Does Santa Go Down the Chimney by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen. And if you know their books, they’re very quirky books, very strange books that they write. They have a very dry wry sense of humor, and I’m sure this one will be no different, but it seems that they are tackling a lot of kids’ questions about “How does Santa go down the chimney? What if there isn’t a chimney?” So they say maybe he makes himself flat and comes under the door. Maybe he comes through the faucet and it just cracked me up because we didn’t have a chimney, so… I’m telling on my dad, he told me that Santa came up the toilet because we had the little vent on top of the house that was from the bathroom. I’m like, does he go through there? And he is like, no, he comes up the toilet. So my dad was interesting.

Kristin:

Your dad could’ve written a children’s book.

Terrie:

I’m sure he could have been, but anyway, this one made me laugh because in the preview they talk about how Santa got into the house if there isn’t a chimney, and it just made me think of that silly story my dad used to tell me, which I did not believe, by the way. So that’s coming out in September. Those are two new books that I will have to read for this Christmas season and just see what they’re like. Now that for me, we talk about what’s the controversy as parents. I think for a lot of Christian families, the whole Santa thing is a controversy. Do we talk about Santa? How do we talk about Santa? So I do want to spend a little bit of time getting your take on that and how you dealt with that with your children. So what’s your take on Santa?

Kristin:

We don’t give gifts from Santa to our kids. Our kids have never believed that Santa was real. It’s always been very like “it’s a fictional character,” but it’s a fun fictional character. So we still read books about Santa or things like that. So one of our favorites as far as general market Christmas books is Olive the Other Reindeer by Vivian Walsh and J. Otto Seibold, and that is about a dog named Olive who hears the song about “all of” and is like, “Oh, I’m the other reindeer.” That one has Santa and reindeer in it, and we love that book. My kids never believed in Santa or flying reindeer, but we can still enjoy the traditions of the holiday even though we don’t personally do Santa in our house. That’s how we chose to handle it. I don’t know that I have strong feelings either way as far as if my husband had grown up doing Santa and had been like, this is very important to me that our kids believe in Santa. I probably wouldn’t have been like, well this is my hill to die on, but neither one of us grew up with Santa, so we didn’t care.

Terrie:

Well, we were the same way. My husband did grow up with Santa, but he didn’t grow up in a Christian home. He was the first one to become a Christian when he was a teenager, so by the time we got married, we both had the same conviction that I just didn’t want to lie to my kids. That’s how we approached it too: it’s a fun character, it’s a great story, and we do talk about St. Nicholas as well. That’s the story behind the creation of Santa Claus, so we did talk about that person in history and why this whole legend spawned from that. We’ve also talked about the different crazy stories from different cultures, because there’s some wild ones that connected with Christmas out there, especially with my kids growing up in a multicultural environment overseas. They had a lot of friends from Sweden and Switzerland and all over there were interesting traditions and stories that we got to read about. We always handled Santa that same way, but we did put gifts from Santa, but they knew it was us, we just joked about that. Well, and our family’s kind of silly, we have British names and at Christmas all of our gifts are to our British counterpart and a lot of them are from Santa or Mumsy or something like that, and it all started because my older son, for some reason when he was eight or nine, he decided he was Sir Reginald, so he adopted this British alter ego and that’s where it started. So we all have our British alter egos and we attempt to talk with British accents on Christmas Day, and I don’t know if that’s just because of Dickens or what, but that’s one of our weird little silly traditions that we have a lot of fun with. Our packages may say they’re from Santa, but we all know who they’re from and that’s just the way it’s been since my kids were younger. But anyway, I don’t know if I should have shared all that weirdness.

Kristin:

No, you know what? I think family traditions are wonderful. We have our own traditions. They don’t involve speaking in a British accent all day on Christmas, I will give you that, but we have our own traditions that are fun. We do this thing called a shepherd’s dinner the week before. So yeah, family tradition!

Terrie:

It’s fun. It makes the holiday meaningful. Yeah, I love that. Well, there is a book that I wanted to share and I haven’t read this one, I’ve just read about it, but it looks really good, and if you do teach Santa or have the tradition of Santa and your kids are getting to the age where they’re questioning and you want a good way to transition and help them come through that, this is by Jeff Janke and it’s called Secret Santa Claus Club: A Tool to Help Parents Unwrap the Secret of Santa. It came out last year in November, and it’s how he tackled it with his daughter because they did teach her to believe in Santa, and he’s like, “Why do we create this whole fairytale world just to take it away from them when they get to a certain age?” So what he’s done is take it a second step. This is creating the Secret Santa Claus Club and they talk about how mom and dad created Santa as a gift to the child and made Christmas special for that child. Because of that, then they can become part of that club to help make Christmas special for other young children. I don’t know how you feel about it. I have mixed emotions about this because, like I said, we did the same thing you did, we didn’t really treat Santa as a real thing, but if you did, this would be a possibility to help you transition to helping your child accept that it was a fairytale and that it’s kind of a magical fun thing to do and not spoil it for younger children, because that’s what happens a lot of times is, the older kids find out, then they start spoiling it for the younger children. This is a way to work around that, so I thought that was really clever and unique kind of an idea here. So that’s a book that came out last year. I have to share this one book that I had never seen before. It’s been out since 2000, but I had never read it until just recently. You’ve probably read it before Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree. Have you read that one?

Kristin:

Yeah. That’s sort of like a new classic, right? Lots of people talk about it. It has really pretty illustrations too.

Terrie:

And it’s such a sweet story about the sharing a Christmas tree basically without even knowing it, but it’s just kind of cute, and it’s by Robert Barry. That’s going to be a new one I add to our calendar this year because I think it’s so cute. Then there was one other one that came out quite a while ago that was new to me, and that’s The Broken Ornament and the author and illustrator is Tony DiTerlizzi. It’s… a good name- anyway, but have you read this one before?

Kristin:

I haven’t. I haven’t even heard of that.

Terrie:

I hadn’t heard of it till just recently and it’s really adorable. It’s a Caldecott honor winning illustrator, by the way, and it’s a New York bestselling author. But anyway, this little boy, he doesn’t listen. He breaks the ornament, the mom is crying and very upset, the dad follows her upstairs with some tissues. She’s just really upset over this broken ornament, and he’s like, “Well, I didn’t do it on purpose,” and this little fairy sprite person explains to him and shows him that this ornament was given to his mom by her grandmother, so his great-grandmother gave it to her and it was the last one in the box that hadn’t been broken and he broke it. He of course feels terrible and he asks the little fairy person if she could put it back together and she’s like, “No, I can’t do that, but you could do something to make it better.” So he thinks and he comes up with a solution of how he cannot really make it up to his mom, but bless his mom and show that he’s sorry for what happened. He draws a picture of his grandmother giving the ornament to his mother when she was a little girl and makes it into an ornament to hang on the tree, so it kind of redeems the situation. It’s just a really heartwarming little story and shows how sometimes we make mistakes and we can’t fix it, we can’t make it right, but we can ask for forgiveness and we can try to still bless the person. So I do like that about it. Really a cute book.

Kristin:

I love that. I’ll have to check that one out. My one that’s on my list of new books this year that you didn’t mention was the Holy Night and Little Star by Mitali Perkins. I haven’t gotten to read, it’s not out yet. Did you read her Easter book?

Terrie:

Which one? I don’t remember.

Kristin:

So she did Bare Tree and Little Wind?

Terrie:

Oh yes, I do have that book.

Kristin:

Yes. Okay, so now she’s doing a Christmas one. I’m interested in that one. I really liked her Easter one as far as, it’s just such an interesting way to look at the holiday from a very spiritual standpoint, but I felt like when I reviewed it that it’s great, I loved it, but also I could never give it to a non-believing family and have them understand at all what was happening in the story. So I’m looking forward to her Christmas book because I like it, I like her writing style, it’s just always very interesting, but I’m interested to see if it’s another one of that vibe of you have to have some background knowledge of why Christmas matters.

Terrie:

Exactly. Yeah. The Easter one, I thought you would think it was all mystical mysticism stuff if you didn’t have a background like you’re saying. So yeah, I’ll be interested in seeing that one too. I hadn’t heard about that one.

Kristin:

Yeah, I just got the email yesterday offering me the review copy and I was like, yes, but it won’t be here in time to talk to Terrie about it, but when I get it, I will tell you.

Terrie:

Okay, cool. We’ll look for a review on your website.

Kristin:

Thanks.

Terrie:

Okay, cool, and let’s see… Well, I found an unusual one, I think I’ve read it before, but it’s not on my calendar, but I’m considering adding it. It’s by Eve Bunting and it’s called The Night Tree: A Christmas Holiday Book for Kids, and it’s older. It was written quite a while ago, I think. Yeah, it was published in ’94, illustrated by Ted Rand. But it’s such a sweet story of this family that goes out into the woods and you think they’re going to cut down a Christmas tree, because that’s usually why families go out in the woods and they’re going out at night and I thought, “Well that’s odd. Why are they going out so late in the evening?” But they go and they decorate this tree with popcorn string and fruit and little bird feeder things like they’ve rolled things in peanut butter and put bird seed on them and stuff. So they’re making a tree for the animals in the forest to enjoy, and they even put some fruit and stuff under the tree for the animals that don’t climb trees to eat, and they see a deer as they’re doing this and then they put a blanket out and have some hot chocolate and just sit there and look at the pretty tree in the moonlight and wonder if they’ll get to see some animals come by. It’s just an adorable story of a family tradition that I think is so clever and really beautiful and different. It was unexpected to me when I started reading it, what I expected it to be and what it became a story of. So I love that one. Have you read that one before?

Kristin:

I haven’t. I feel like I’m picturing the cover though, so I wonder if it is fairly popular.

Terrie:

Maybe. Yeah, it’s usually sold with a couple other books that are country-based, An Appalachian Story and A Farm Story, you know, for people who are in the rural areas and would like your Christmas story, this one’s really beautifully done and the illustrations are really beautiful and I just thought that was really clever. Talking about family traditions, I thought what a fun one that would be to go out in a wooded area and make a tree for the animals and the birds in the middle of winter. So I thought it was cute.

Kristin:

I know. And I’m from rural midwestern Michigan and it’s so cold that I’m like, “Oh, those people, they’re crazy.”

Terrie:

Yeah, well and they talked about it too. They’re really cold in the story and the little girl, she gets so excited at one point she jumps out of one of her rubber boots, and they have to help her put it back on. And I like Eve Bunting anyway, her stories are very sweet and the details are really cool in the stories. This one does not disappoint in that way. The details are what make this story so fun in my opinion, so I think it’s good. Okay. So let’s see. We’ve shared quite a few. Share with me one more picture book that you would like to recommend. Do you have one more?

Kristin:

So I will share kind of an obscure one I think, and that is Christmas is Coming! By Tama Fortner. It came out I want to say 2021, maybe 2020, so not too long ago, and I don’t know, it just didn’t make any waves or anything, but it is darling, and it is again very Christmassy, but also gospely. I liked that one a lot. So I don’t know if you’re familiar with that one, but if anyone’s looking for something to round out their basket, I think that’s a really good one.

Terrie:

Cool. And I have a couple really great ones from people we’ve interviewed. I will be reposting those links because Kathleen Bostrom has several wonderful books. One I really love is The Worst Christmas Ever or something like that, it’s called, and it’s just a wonderful, wonderful story, and then of course Glenys Nellist, and several others that I’ve interviewed who actually have really good books about Christmas, and Mindy Baker, it’s the only picture book she has out and it’s really wonderful, and that’s Mouse’s Christmas Gift. I’ll have links to those episodes and those books as well in the show notes, but there are so many we could talk for days about Christmas books and I will share one of the novels that I just love and you were going to share some chapter books you have. So why don’t you start with some of the chapter books?

Kristin:

I do. You know, I love chapter books. Alex Webb-Peploe has a really beautiful graphic novel that is the text of Luke 1 and 2 in graphic novel form. It’s called Light in the Darkness, and it’s fairly short because Luke 1 and 2 is not very long. It’s the Bible as a graphic novel but not changed in any way. It is literally the NIV text. I know that some people have issues with the graphic novel bibles because they are changed, right? The words are changed. That is not what’s going on here, it is literally Luke 1 and 2, that’s the text, but he made it into a graphic novel. So I love that one since it’s so short. You could use it for tweens like starting at 10 if they’re into graphic novels, that is a great option.

Kristin:

Also, my favorite Christmas chapter book, which I think a lot of people don’t know, is a Christmas chapter book is The 101 Dalmatians by Dodie Smith, and the last three chapters are all on Christmas Day, so you can read it leading up to Christmas Day. Have you read the story if you haven’t read it or have you just seen the Disney movie, which is also great?

Terrie:

Well I think I started reading it and never finished, honestly.

Kristin:

Okay, that’s okay. It is different from the movie, so warn your kids, but in the book the dogs even end up in a church and they don’t worship because they’re dogs, but they talk about how the reason for the season is because of the nativity set at the front of the church and all this stuff that, who knew this was all in The 101 Dalmatians? So if you’re looking for something new that isn’t on a lot of lists, I really like that one. It is older and set in England, so you might have to explain what the milk buggy is and stuff like that, but that is a good one and I do have a full review of that one on my website because they do talk about where puppies come from, so I have a little note in there about that, so that’s a good option. You mentioned Dickens, you all speaking with your accents? Something that I like to do is look for those books that are in the public domain, like A Christmas Carol is in the public domain and a lot of people have done full cast readings of them as podcasts.

Terrie:

Oh fun.

Kristin:

Yeah, so you can find a Christmas carol especially there are just lots and lots of different production companies or just like groups of friends who got together and did a 12 session podcast reading a Christmas Carol that can be fun to put on. My personal favorite is from Monkey Shine Media. I don’t know who Monkey Shine Media is, but they have a lovely podcast of A Christmas Carol. So if you look for those older Christmas books that are in the public domain, you can find them a lot of times produced and free because people can do it for free.

Terrie:

That’s awesome. I didn’t know about that. I’m definitely going to look that up because that is like one of my all-time favorite books.

Kristin:

Yeah, and of course you can always buy, I think focus on the family or whoever does lots of these radio presentations and that’s great, but I know that lots of my readers and myself were on a budget, especially around Christmas time. So if you can find a free podcast of it, go for it.

Terrie:

That’s good. Well, I’ve shared these before, but they just are such great books. I have to share them again and one of them is called Nicholas: You Will Believe… [and it has a dot dot dot after that] by Michael J. Scott. It is a novel and it’s like a retelling of the story of Nicholas, but it’s fictional, definitely fictional, but I just loved it as an adult reading this book, it kind of brought back that childhood feeling of Christmas, but it also deals very much very strongly with the gospel message and with the reality of living the Christian life, especially during the time of Nicholas’s life, and it does deal with some real things that happened. He punched out a monk once at Nicaea.

Kristin:

Oh yeah. Where they wrote the creeds.

Terrie:

Yes, where they wrote the creeds. There was one priest that stood up and was just spouting heresy and he couldn’t take it and he punched him. He actually got arrested for assaulting him and that’s a true story that really happened, but he was so upset by the heresies that were trying to get into the church and he was one of the proponents to being true to the gospel, true to the word of God and fighting against the heresies, but he just came unglued with the heresy that this one priest was trying to spout off and he kind of lost his temper, but I just love that story and it’s in this book as well as part of the story, but it’s definitely fantasy. It’s definitely fiction, but it does bring in a lot of the true story that we do know as part of his real life. I loved reading that book as an adult. It would be for high schoolers and up. I think it would be too heavy, too much for a younger middle schooler or someone.

Kristin:

Now is it like historical fiction or is it like Santa magic type stuff?

Terrie:

It’s both. It’s historical fiction for the most part. It deals with persecution of Christians during that time and all kinds of stuff, but Nicholas is allowed after he dies, he’s martyred in the story and he’s allowed to come back and live. That’s why he’s able to still be alive and they develop like a foundation to bless poor children and stuff, so that part is totally fiction, totally fantasy. So that is in there, but it’s not Santa coming down the chimney with reindeer and all that. It doesn’t go into that part of the legend that was developed much later in history, so there is definitely fantasy. It definitely is fiction, but the bulk of it is dealing with the historical account of Nicholas’s life. Then of course embellishing it with conversations and things we don’t know. It starts out as kind of historical fiction and goes into fantasy, but I think it is so well written and so well done, and yet you don’t hear anything about this book. I’ve never heard anyone else review it on a podcast or anything, but I just think it’s great and really enjoyed reading it. I couldn’t put it down.

Terrie:

So this is the end of part one of this conversation with Kristin, and we will have the second part of the conversation next week on our podcast. So be sure to tune in, don’t miss it, and we will finish talking about everything Christmas and all kinds of wonderful books you can share with your family this season.

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 or give us a review. We really appreciate it, it helps people know we’re here. If you would like to connect with Kristin, you can find her on her website, which is Big Books, Little Ears, and it’s a wonderful website, check it out. And if you’d like to connect with me, you can always find me on TerrieHellardBrown.com. We would love to hear from you. We hope you have a wonderful Christmas, wonderful end of the year and that you make many wonderful memories with your family, with your children during this holiday season celebrating the birth of our wonderful savior, and that was a whole lot of wonderfuls… 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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