Tag: champ thornton (page 1 of 1)

Why Do We Say Goodnight?

People in our house can find their own pajamas and put them on (some can even do their own laundry!). They can fill their own water bottles and find beloved stuffed animals wedged between a bed frame and a wall. Gone are the days of the last-minute feedings, velcro swaddlers, ninja-style exits from darkened rooms. (Gone, too, are the sweet, sleeping baby noises; the snuggly late-night feedings; the tiny toes . . . )

Only two things still pull our just-tucked-in daughters from their just-warmed-up beds:

a) interpersonal conflict

b) fear

House fires, volcanoes, giant puppets that eat people: our daughters’ marvelous imaginations—the same ones that fuel their stories and games during daylight hours—sometimes take a while to power down before bed. That hour when all is quiet and their thoughts hum darkly along can be rough.

Why Do We Say Goodnight?, by Champ Thornton | Little Book, Big Story

Why Do We Say Goodnight?, a sweet story by Champ Thornton (The Radical Book for Kids) and Rommel Ruiz (Golly’s Folly), addresses just this. “Why do we say goodnight,” the young narrator wonders, “when night isn’t good at all?” Her mother gently and patiently tells her that God made the dark as well as the light, and he is with us in it even when we can see him—our Shepherd and Protector.

Why Do We Say Goodnight?, by Champ Thornton | Little Book, Big Story

These are truths I still tell myself when my own imagination turns toward the Dark Side at three in the morning. They are truths I point to when worried daughters drift into the living room after hours.

And right now, as we live in lockdown, I turn to these truths during the daylight hours: God is our Shepherd and Protector, and when we can’t see, he can. We aren’t always surrounded by a literal darkness right now but by the darkness of waiting, which obscures the road ahead and makes us wonder, How long, O Lord? And so this book is an encouragement to me as I read it to my daughters and pray with the story’s narrator:

Please help me, Lord,
to trust in you
for all you are
and all you do.

Lord, you made night,
and you can see.
You’re the Shepherd
who cares for me.


Why Do We Say Goodnight?
Champ Thornton; Rommel Ruiz (2019)

The Radical Book for Kids

When our eldest daughter was a toddler, my mom dropped a heavy box off at our house. “Your books,” she said. “From when you were a kid.”

I had no idea what a wonderful thing she’d done until I took the lid off the box, and two dozen or more picture book spines looked back at me: books I’d forgotten completely were there, tucked alongside old favorites, and many bore handwritten notes from my mom, marking the birthdays and Christmases of my childhood.

The Radical Book for Kids | Little Book, Big Story

Those books now live on our family shelves. The gift of those childhood books was so powerful that I have made it a tradition for every birthday, Easter and Christmas since to buy a new and beautiful theological book for each of our daughters and to inscribe them with a short note. I’m looking forward to the day when I can drop off a box of books with each of them and help establish their picture book libraries.

I ran into a hitch this year, though. Lydia was suddenly harder to shop for: the only Christian books I found at her reading level were missionary biographies, and while she has a few of those already, she doesn’t seem particularly enchanted with them yet. So I wanted to get her something different—but what?

The Radical Book for Kids | Little Book, Big Story

Enter The Radical Book for Kids, by Champ Thornton. Part encyclopedia of the Christian faith, part Dangerous Book for Girls (or Boys), The Radical Book for Kids is full of so many wonderful things that I’m finding it hard to improve upon the publisher’s description of the book. So I’ll just quote it here:

This power-packed book is “radical” in more ways than you might think! It is “radical” in the sense of the original meaning of the word, “going to the root or origin.” The Radical Book for Kids will take children on a fascinating journey into the ancient roots of the Christian faith. But it’s also ‘radical’ in the more modern sense of being revolutionary. Kids read about men and women who learned to trust Jesus and stand for him—displaying radical faith—even when everything seemed against them.
But The Radical Book for Kids is also “radical”—meaning fun or cool—in the eyes of a child. Kids read about ancient weapons (and how to make one), learn about jewels, create pottery, discover ancient languages, use secret codes, locate stars, tell time using the sun, play a board game that’s 3,000 years old—and more.

This is the sort of book that I pull out after the kids go to bed and get lost in: the material in it is deep yet engaging, and every page is beautiful. I have a hunch that Lydia will disappear into it, too, and emerge full of interesting facts about ancient Hebrew, Lottie Moon, and handmade slings. And my hope is that, when she finds The Radical Book for Kids in a box of childhood favorites, years from now, her eyes will light up and she’ll say, “Oh, I loved this one!”

The Radical Book for Kids | Little Book, Big Story

Today’s re-run appeared in November of 2016.

The Radical Book for Kids
Champ Thornton,  (2016)