Saturday, January 16, 2010

Wanted: End times books for kids

The funniest thing happened last night as I was putting Veeka to bed. On the way, she glimpsed a stunning print on her bedroom wall of Jesus returning to Earth on a white horse. It's by Pat Marvenko Smith, a Pittsburgh artist who's done the coolest art on the book of Revelation. I really liked her depiction of the red-robed, golden-sashed King of kings with "eyes as flame of fire" and the little one was entranced with the picture.
"When is he coming back?" she asked.
"Soon," I said.
"Can I give him a hug?" she asked.
"I'm sure he'd like that."
"It's Aslan and Jesus, right?"
"Yes, sweetie." Usually she winds up her evening with a chapter from "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" but last night she was too excited about the Second Coming. Who else was going to be there besides angels, she asked. Well...I said, Uncle Steve and Uncle Gob and Oma and Opa and (her cousins) Carley and Lindsay and (her friends) Rachael and Iannsa...well, to Veeka this sure sounded like a nice party with all her favorite people in attendance. She plied me with question after question about what heaven looks like and what people do there until I finally dug out a children's book about St. George and the Dragon with illustrations by the late famed artist Trina Schart Hyman who, although she was more into Wicca, did have one cool drawing in this book of this enormous mountain stretching 20 miles into the sky.
That, I explained to Veeka, pointing to the enormous city on the peak of this mountain, is what heaven will be like. I dug around in my other books and realized that for all the Bible tales I have, none of them are about the end of time. They're all folksy jungle tales about Adam and Eve, then switching to Noah's Ark and a few Old Testament tales, then lots and lots about the Nativity and Jesus' miracles, a bit about his death and then...not a whole lot after that. A lot of books don't even show Jesus' post-Resurrection face and only one even went into the acts of the apostles with a brief mention of the end of the world.
I realized this was an enormous teaching moment, so sat up late with Veeka explaining about Jesus coming back and angels (will explain later about the devil and 666) but realized there needs to be books out that show cool depictions of Up There. I did a search and all that's out there are books for kids about to lose a family member or pet. Randy Alcorn has a kids book out but it's for 8-12s. No, no, no, I want much more colorful stuff that shows the celestial city and the 12 gates made of enormous pearls, etc. etc.
So here is a new book imprint: It is ABC: Apocalyptic Children's Books. Cool, huh?
No other news here although it looks as though my March book tour to Houston, beginning about March 12 and lasting a week or so, is really shaping up. To date, I have three speaking invites in churches. More to come.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Happy Epiphany

If I were more organized, I would have baked one of my cardamom Three Kings cakes with all sorts of goodies hidden therein to symbolize the Magi but I'm at sixes and sevens with my furnace having broken down for 30 hours until a repairman figured out what was wrong with it. So Wednesday was pretty wretched as Veeka and I slept in 50-degree rooms until blessed heat arrived Thursday. The joys of home ownership.
Work has settled down; eerily so in that there are so few of us in the newsroom these days, the whole place is markedly colder. Didn't know 110 extra people could provide so much extra body heat.
The photo is of my niece, Carley, holding Veeka. Her younger sister, Lindsay, is to the right. What I didn't mention last time is how on Christmas Day, Carley walked into my parents' home with her left hand extended and her fourth finger bearing an engagement ring. Being that her parents are planning on a divorce in the near future, Christmas was very sad for us all but Carley's news really lightened the day. Hopes are for her to wear my mother's satin wedding gown from the late 1940s (one of my aunts wore it before my mom got married in 1950) because I sure can't fit into it. Even when I was 20 pounds lighter, I couldn't get the thing on. My whole body was just BIGGER. But Carley is pretty thin so we're hoping she can wear the dress.
Today, Jan. 7, Veeka had her first visit to the dentist and she behaved beautifully. I wasn't really happy at being charged $102 for all of 15 minutes she was there, tho.