Preview

Last week on vacation, Sarah and I spent one morning at a coffee shop chatting about plans for Aslan’s Library for the next few months.  We talked about books we want to read and review, but we also discussed a variety of food-for-thought topics we’d like to tackle.  We came up with a nice list on our own, but we’d also love to have your input as well.  If there are topics that you’d like to see discussed here, please let us know.

Up first is going to be a series on common pitfalls in Christian kids lit.  Sarah and I are each going to write about several issues (1 per week for about 6 weeks) that we see as hindrances to excellence.  While our usual goal is to stay positive and share books with you that we view as truly wonderful, we thought that it might be profitable to talk about the types of things that would likely disqualify a book from inclusion in Aslan’s Library.  Look for the first installment one week from today!

PS  Hop on over to our About page to see a snapshot of Sarah and I that we took while at the lake.  Just try not to be too disappointed that we don’t actually look like Anne of Green Gables and Hans Urs Von Balthasar, as our profile pics would lead you to believe.  🙂

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4 thoughts on “Preview

  1. Cute picture! It was fun to read the story of how the two of you became friends. And I saw some familiar-looking books in the book photos! 🙂

    I have enjoyed reading the book recommendations on this blog (although I only have one 1-year old and can’t necssarily use them all right away — I’m just glad to have a resource out there to help me review what’s available). Thank you for all your efforts! I’m sure it’s a lot of work to do organize and administrate this blog.

    I am hesitantly interested in hearing what you have to say about “bad” Christian kids’ lit. Although I’m sure the posts will be good and thought-provoking, I say “hesitantly” for 2 reasons: 1) Having worked in the Christian pub industry for over 7 years now at 2 different organizations, I probably just have sympathy for “bad” Christian books (mostly because I understand the practical difficulties publishers have in trying to wed truth and beauty — most authors are strong in one area and correspondingly weak in the other, and matching illustrators and authors can be challenging). Plus, writing any book (for children or adults) is just plain hard and a ton of work! 2) I once heard one author I worked with give a seminar on (basically) “bad” children’s Bibles and books, giving several specific examples — and walked away with a bad taste in my mouth.

    I’m sure, however, that the two of you will be gracious and generous with your judgments. I plan on reading all of the posts! Thanks again for all of your planning (even while on vacation!)

  2. Yes — Thanks for the picture for personal face — you girls are gorgeous!

    I have a three year old daughter – we have bought some of the books you recommended — She loves the Big Picture Bible 🙂 I really liked your suggestion about no one bible fits, so good to supplement. We already had the Kenneth Taylor Bible In Picture for Little Eyes – with the orginal illustrations, but it is nice for somehting fresh since we do not have a proper sunday school program where we live. So look forward to buying the Every Story Whispers, Jesus Storybook and others.

    I noticed the Rhyme Storybook Bible online, but never have come across any blogger recommendations on this one. I think the idea of rhyme for little ones is great and was wondering if you girls had any comments on it? We do not have an English bookstore or library here, so can not view books prior to purchase.

    Would also be interested in:
    1) Audio book suggestions: The Veggie Tales are much too high pictched and fast sounding and faced moving, so we never listen to anything except Winnie the Pooh, Beatrix Potter, and LIttle House in the Big Woods.
    2) Family or parent child devotions/devotionals for little ones. My husband is Jewish so we don’t really do that stuff as a family, but hope to someday. In the meantime, it would be nice to have devotions with my daughter.
    3) Song/Hymn books for children

    Love your blog. Thank you so much

    All the best

    –lg

  3. Thanks for the comments! Kristin, I appreciated your encouragement to graciousness and generosity as we think about common pitfalls in theological kids lit – those are definitely qualities that we hope are hallmarks of everything we write at Aslan’s Library.

    While it can be poorly or uncharitably done, I do think that it’s worthwhile to think hard about beauty and truth in kids lit, and to be aware of some common ways that much of what we offer our children can fall short. Charlotte Mason decried “twaddle” that speaks down to children because it doesn’t properly respect them as persons; I think that insight holds doubly true for theological kids lit. We want to offer our children the best, and I find that articulating pitfalls is a necessary part of developing criteria and judging/sifting all that is out there.

    As for the further suggestions: great idea, on audio books. That’s an area that my kids are still a bit young for, so I’m just not sure what’s out there. We’ll have to scout it out.

    And as for devotions and other story bibles: I just spent the afternoon at Hearts and Minds Books (www.heartsandmindsbooks.com) and walked out with a significantly lighter wallet and a huge list of books to explore in the future – including some great devotional options! Stay tuned!

  4. thank you for the hearts and mind link — and also so happy to hear that you are charlotte mason fans too — this has been a great resoource in helping me choosing ‘living’ books

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