It’s been over two years since I shared a featured author with you, I know. But today is the day: I’m bringing the series back!
When I choose books to review on this blog, I find that there are some authors who have won my heart so thoroughly that I can’t decide which of their books to review first. These are the authors that I love for themselves, not for any single book, and whose name on the spine of an otherwise unknown volume is enough insurance for me to buy a copy without even peeking at the blurb on the back of the book. Introducing you to them is my way of saying, “Yes, we’ll get to the specific titles. But for now, just skip to the part where you read any book they have ever written.”
Today’s author is a contemporary one, and one you’re familiar with if you’ve read this blog for any amount of time. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you: Sally Lloyd-Jones.
One of the first picture books that I acquired as a parent, one of the first ones that showed me how beautiful Bible stories for children can be, was The Jesus Storybook Bible. We lived in an old corner store then—a meat market actually—that had been converted into an odd, stucco, square-shaped home, perfect for our family of three. The back quarter of the house had cork-lined walls left over from its days as a meat locker, and the front had windows that started near my knees and reached nearly to the top of the very tall room. I loved those windows. I loved sitting in front of them in the spring, watching the neighborhood dogs saunter past, and the cherry trees outside trumpet the season’s change. I loved sitting in front of them, with eighteen-month-old Lydia on my lap, and reading to her from The Jesus Storybook Bible.
Sally Lloyd-Jones writes not simply for children but to them. Her books makes me feel, as a parent, like I am sitting in on a conversation she’s having directly with my child. I love and laugh with and am shaped by her words as well, but my involvement feels like an added bonus: her words speak right to my children with a warmth and understanding that reminds me at times of E. Nesbit’s writing.
Since that first copy of The Jesus Storybook Bible, we’ve made it a practice to purchase a new copy for each of our daughters around their second or third birthday (Phoebe just got hers). We do this mostly because we want each daughter to have her own childhood copy to carry with her into adulthood, but also because that’s usually about when the spine on our current copy begins to give way.
But The Jesus Storybook Bible is not the only book Lloyd-Jones has written, and it’s certainly not the only one I’ve reviewed here on Little Book, Big Story. Here are a few of our favorite books by Sally Lloyd-Jones:
– Baby Wren and the Great Gift (Illus. Jen Corace)
– How to Be a Baby, by Me the Big Sister (Illus. Sue Heap)
– How to Get a Job, by Me the Boss (Illus. Sue Heap)
– How to Get Married, by Me the Bride (Illus. Sue Heap)
– Skip to the Loo (Illus. Anita Jeram)
– Just Because You’re Mine (Illus. Frank Endersby)
– Found (Illus. Jago)
– Bunny’s First Spring (Illus. David MacPhail)
– Baby’s Hug-a-Bible (Illus. Claudine Gevry)
– Lift-the-Flap Bible (Illus. Tracey Moroney)
Not Quite Picture Books
– The Jesus Storybook Bible (Illus. Jago)
– Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing (Illus. Jago)
– Song of the Stars (Illus. Allison Jay)
– Little One, We Knew You’d Come (Illus. Jackie Morris)
Also, if you want to know more about Sally Lloyd-Jones, or just want to be enchanted by her vision for life and writing, I highly recommend listening to her interview with Sarah MacKenzie on the Read-Aloud Revival
And (how neat is this?) here is a video interview with Lloyd-Jones from Haven Today, celebrating the tenth anniversary of The Jesus Storybook Bible. Tell me: do you recognize any of the photos featured in it?