Begun in October, 2009, the resources shared on these pages had their genesis in the knowledge and enthusiasm of Dr. Pamela Mitchell-Legg and Dr. Rebecca Davis. These two professors shared a love of books for children and adolescents and a conviction that these books could serve as a rich resource for those involved in educational ministry in the church. The material took shape as students in the Using Children’s and Adolescents’ Literature in the Church class on the Charlotte campus used what they had learned to craft learning resources that could be used in a variety of settings. With help from staff at the William Smith Morton Library on the Richmond campus, this blog finally emerged as a way to share this enthusiasm, creativity and knowledge with the broader church. Writers have continued to come from this class which is offered every other year, and we have added new writers who share this appreciation for the ways that books connect people and our faith story.
In August, 2010, we added our weekly Lectionary Links. Ann Knox, Director of the Instructional Resource Center at the William Smith Morton Library had long been intrigued with a series of books written in the mid-90s by Janet Lloyd in which she had linked children’s books to Lectionary texts. Although various ideas about how to continue this work were explored, publishing an updated print version was never financially feasible. When this blog began, it appeared that we might finally have a way to share these connecting points between children’s books and the Biblical story. We hired Noell Rathbun-Cook, a gifted teacher and preacher, who has been our primary writer since we began this offering, and the area has become one of the most popular resources on the blog.
The resources here are divided into book reviews, lesson plans using children’s books, and other ideas for using children’s literature in different settings. Occasionally, guest bloggers will also be asked to contribute their ideas for using children’s books in their own work settings or homes. It is our prayer that these resources will be a prod to your own imagination, your own pleasure in this particular genre of literature, and in your ministry.
It is also our hope that this site will be a place of shared conversation. We want to hear from you. How are you using books to connect readers and faith? What particular book has been meaningful to you? What books would you love to see reviewed? What questions or concerns do you have about the ideas shared here? Your voices help make this a better site and we hope to hear from you either by your comments on individual posts, or through our Contact Form.