Noelle Kirchner, M.Div., is a Presbyterian minister and mother of two boys. As they wrestle on the floor, she enjoys wrestling with her manuscripts. She writes for Huff Post Parents, the TODAY Show Parenting Team, and has been a repeat guest author at in(courage). You can find her on her blog, where she writes about faith and parenting, and on Twitter and Facebook.
I am delighted to share with you my interview of a fellow author and new friend, Laura Sassi. Laura's book, Goodnight Ark, is a captivating children's book that's illustrated by the award-winning Jane Chapman. Readers enter the delightful world of Noah's ark. If your children have ever been frightened in a storm, then they will find animal friends aboard it. Although her book is not expressly Christian, what follows is a "behind the scenes" look at how her Christian faith and life as a mom shaped her writing!
To register for a chance to win a free copy of her book sent to you, either scroll to the bottom of this blog page or click here. The contest ends tomorrow, 12/10, at 10 am EST. If you'd like to read my review of her book before today's interview, check out yesterday's post. To see the book trailer, click here.
1. What attracted you to entering the world of the biblical story of Noah?
Since I was not raised in a Christian home until I was in 2nd/3rd grade, my first introduction to God and Jesus was through the invitations of a very dear neighbor to attend AWANA and vacation bible school. It was there that I first heard about God through the skilled kid-friendly storytelling of the teachers and camp counselors. In addition to the story of Christmas, one of my early favorites was the story of Noah. Indeed I loved it so much that the first story I ever wrote (as a first grader) was a funny illustrated retelling of Noah and his ark which I still have, thanks to my mom. Given all this, when I got the idea to write a stormy, yet ultimately soothing, bedtime story, the world of Noah and his ark seemed a natural and fun setting.
2. Do you see any resonances between your Christian faith and your book? Explain.
While Goodnight, Ark is not religious other than the setting, it reflects my deep faith in God as a loving father. After all, just like Noah in the story, God comforts us and loves us through every storm. When looking at Jane’s delightful depictions of all those animals, I also can’t help but think about how creative and amazing our Creator is.
3. How has being a mother yourself shaped your authorship of this book?
We’ve had some mighty ferocious storms around here in the past few years including two hurricanes and lots of blustery snow and rain storms. My daughter and the dog have both wanted to climb into our bed. Getting them back to their own beds, in the midst of howling winds and pounding rain, however, has sometimes been challenging, especially when my daughter was younger. So the mother in me thought it might be helpful and fun to write a story that would address some of those fears in a humorous, yet soothing way.
4. What do you hope will be the biggest take away for readers of your book?
First and foremost, I want kids (and their parents) to enjoy the story! There’s so much to see on every page, and the rhymes and sound words are fun to read aloud. Second, I encourage my readers to interact with the book. It lends itself well to a little game of “I Spy.” It’s great fun for practicing counting by twos as well. Third, I’d like children to come away knowing, that like the animals in the story, they too are loved by their parents. And for anyone seeking a deeper truth, it’s also great reminder that, like Noah in the story, our God is a loving father who comforts us and loves us through every storm.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Laura Sassi has a passion for telling humorous stories in rhyme. She writes daily from her century-old home in New Jersey where she lives with her husband, two children, and a black Cockapoo named Sophie. Her poems, stories, articles, and crafts have appeared in Highlights for Children, Cricket, Ladybug, Spider and Focus on the Family’s Clubhouse and Clubhouse Jr. and elsewhere. GOODNIGHT, ARK is her first picture book.
If you'd like to take advantage of her book's educational opportunities, click here for the exciting ideas Laura has complied from her background as a teacher. Also, to see another interview I've done, check out what I learned when I met my first CNN Hero by clicking here.
Be sure to tune in next Monday for another giveaway, except this one isn't for your children, it's for YOU! Win a book that will reinvigorate your faith in the goodness of God, even in the midst of trial. Subscribe by email to my blog so that you don't miss this news AND to get a free printable today!