I just self-published my first book – Patience for Peter: A Fruits of the Spirit Story for Kids.
I have been doing animation and illustration work for many years and for many people but I have rarely taken an idea of my own all the way to completion – that makes this project pretty exciting for me.
This is the first in a series of nine books that spotlights one of the nine biblical fruits of the Spirit. Portrayed as animated, colorful ribbons, the fruits of the Spirit are given form, shape, and colour that help young readers visualize them in a fresh and memorable way. As each book explains and explores a particular fruit of the Spirit, children will learn practical ways of applying them in real and daily choices. They already know that growing into the person God wants them to be and making the choices He’s designed for them can be hard. But in each story they are reminded: “these are the choices that God has designed for you, and at all times, you have His help to choose well.”
These stories were born as I struggled to find a meaningful way to have conversations with my kids about what a healthy response to God’s love looks like and how that response comes about in their life. As I talked through the nine fruits of the Spirit with my kids I became aware of how animated our conversations were and how different movements were used as we talked about love vs. self-control. This gave me the idea of portraying them as ribbons. Each could move differently and in ways that might help kids better grasp their meaning. To strengthen this I surveyed people asking them what colours they pictured for the different fruits of the Spirit (a valuable exercise in itself). As people shared their colour choices with me I was surprised at how much they had in common. Once I began to combine the colours and the movements of the ribbon I found I had something that was open enough to hold conversation about how the fruit of the Spirit appears differently in the lives of different people. I hope these nine stories can be the space for other parents to have those conversations with their own kids
While I love the work of writing, designing, and illustrating a book – the exploration of the many paths of self-publishing has been a much more daunting task. Patience for Peter, however, is only the first book in a series of nine books that each look at one of the biblical fruits of the Spirit. I deliberately started with a series of books which grants me eight more stories to tell, eight more books to create, and eight more chances to further explore how self-publishing works! The experience of working through this has already proved valuable to me and maybe by the ninth and final book I’ll feel capable of being a beginner or helping someone else through the process!
Find out more about the books here!