Thursday, March 21, 2013

Your Big Story

I'm really excited to introduce you to a new children's book written by my friend and brand new author, Andy Liples. In full disclosure, I freely admit to being terribly biased about both this delightful little book AND my friend. 

We've had the pleasure of knowing Andy and his sweet wife, Jess, for about 9 years now. They are solid, intentional, and generous people with servants' hearts. They serve in our local home church and give diligently of their time and talents for the encouragement of everyone who comes across their path. It's been such a joy to watch them grow together in their marriage and to see them parent their two kids as solidly and intentionally as they live the rest of their lives. They are a young couple of very strong and godly character and we feel so blessed and proud to call them friends. I was quite surprised when I heard that Andy had written a book and I could hardly wait to get my hands on it to share it with you all.

Your Big Story, By Andy Liples
is available at Amazon now!
Your Big Story is the story of the whole Bible that simply and eloquently grabs your little one's attention in the opening lines because it makes the child to whom you are reading into the main character of the whole story! How great is that? As I was reading it to Li'l Empress, her eyes would get big and she'd respond with an incredulous, "You mean ME?" every time I read, "you" or "your story." She was really engaged from the start. She especially loved that her little friend Hannah looks so very much like the little girl who pops up in the middle of each story within the story.

The best thing to me about this book is that the clear and simple message of the Gospel rings through each of the familiar Bible stories presented. They flow seamlessly into one another in a "story within a story" format, weaving together the most important themes of The Word:

God made You to be like Him.
God loves You very much and has a big plan for you.
God wants to be in relationship with You.
God gave us Jesus so that relationship with Him is possible.

The unfolding of it all throughout the book puts your child right smack in the middle of the tale. What kid doesn't love that kind of attention? But I noticed while reading that Li'l Empress was also presented with plenty of opportunities to respond along the way. She empathized with the consequences of doing bad things, solemnly informing me that sometimes she "does bad things" (oh, how I had to school my features to calmly respond and affirm that we all make bad choices!). She identified with the anticipation of God preparing the world for our arrival, telling me "just like we are getting ready for Mei Mei."  And when we read about Jesus taking all of the punishment for all of our disobedience, she asked a lot of really thoughtful questions. I loved watching her mental wheels turn as we talked about the choice Jesus made to take all that on Himself simply because He loved us so much. There's nothing so refreshing as a five-year old for boiling down the Gospel message to its most valuable points, is there?

Each portion of the story is well-supported by the adorable illustrations, drawn by Ruth Cottingham. The artwork is bright and colorful and very accessible, even in the difficult parts of the story line (i.e. Jesus' death on the Cross). Each picture brings the story right into your child's lap, and not just literally, reinforcing the title and message of the book. In addition, the appearance of the little girl participating in each vignette of the individual stories helps your little reader make the connection that this story is about her. I found the little companion caterpillar that peeks in on every page to be completely whimsical and utterly delightful. I will leave the unfolding of the caterpillar's own little tale for you to discover for yourself.

Again, I freely admit to being terribly biased about this adorable book. But I have also read a lot of children's Bible stories over the 18+ years that I've been this gang's momma. I can confidently recommend this book to you, here in my little corner of the blogosphere, and tell you that this is a refreshing and sweet new perspective on God's love letter to His children. It's a message that bears repeating. To you AND to the sweet little readers in your house!

God made You to be like Him.
God loves You very much and has a big plan for you.
God wants to be in relationship with You.
God gave us Jesus so that relationship with Him is possible.

Andy Liples and his publisher have graciously donated
two signed copies of Your Big Story
for me to share with all of you.
Here's your three opportunities
to win one of them for your little one!
  1. first entry can be earned by leaving a comment here on the blog telling me about your own favorite childhood Bible story book(s). If you can't remember your own favorites, please share with me a book or two that your kids particularly enjoy.
  2. Earn a second entry by sharing about my friend's new book and this review on your own blog. Please enter a separate comment back here and include the link to your blog post when you do so.
  3. Earn a third entry by sharing this post on your F@cebook timeline or in one of your FB groups and forums. Please enter a separate comment back here and include the link in that comment. (You can do that by clicking on the time stamp of your shared link and copying the url to paste here in your comment.)  
  4. Please consider "liking" and then "tagging" Your Big Story's FB page when you do share on your FB wall, so that Andy and Ruth can see how folks are responding to the book. It's certainly not a requirement and does not count as a separate third entry. It's just a nice thing to do and who doesn't love that kind of encouragement? Go. Be an encourager!
  5. Comments will only be accepted until midnight on Monday, March 25th. That will give me time to get your mailing address from the two winners and send the packages on their way before The Boss and I head to China. :)
***FYI: Comments are set to blog-owner moderation
(to protect from spammers),
so yours might not appear immediately upon entering.

I will announce the winners on Tuesday or Wednesday, March 26th or 27th. Sorry for the vaguery, but as I mentioned, I'm going to China soon and things are really crazy here. Well, crazier than normal for this Gang anyway! Thanks for understanding :)

***Updated: Comments on this post are now closed. The two winners will be announced on Wednesday morning, March 27th. Thanks for playing!


Jennifer Diffley said...

How can one NOT want a copy of that book after reading that review? I was raised in a house of little faith, so I don't recall a whole lot of Biblical-based storybooks around (we did have a family Bible and I did read it from time to time) but my favorite to read to my kids right now is, "The Thank You Prayer." It teaches them to stop and notice the little things that are gifts from God and to be grateful for them.

BumbersBumblings said...

I can't remember my favorite---maybe christian mother goose book!!

Aus said...

Morning GM - rave review - bias not with standing! At the risk of showing my age (I won't tell you who was Pope when I was a child but he was excited when JFK was elected!) the only "child's book" of this genre we had was an absolutly HUGE children's Bible. On the up side - I remember the artwork was GREAT - but the text was the classic KJV translation of Scripture, and since it included both the NT and OT the book weighted in at probably 20#!!

And I was cleverly trying to fit the letters T and A into this repeatedly - without much success - but HOORAH anyway!!

Now go pack!!

hugs - aus and co.

Kelly Raudenbush said...

My favorite is the Jesus Storybook Bible - LOVE it. Close second is Thoughts that Make My Heart Sing by the same author.

Deidra said...

Absolutley the Jesus Storybook Bible. No other book explains how each OT story is portraying Jesus and how each NT story tells of God's Never Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreaking, Forever and Always Love. :)

csmith said...

I loved the stories about King Soloman when I was a child. I always made my Grandmother read to me about the baby being cut in half. I've been looking for a good children's Bible for Easter, so I would love to have a copy of this.

Scott and Jane said...

I didn't know The Lord until my adult life so the only childhood book that I remember loving is Green Eggs and Ham. However, as a beliver and a mom my absolute favorite book to read to my kids is Teddy's Button by Amy Le Feuvre. I love the message this book unveils as it teaches children to serve King Jesus. We have the illustrated version and it's a must have in my opinion.