This is a guest post by author Anthony DeStefano.
This Little Prayer of Mine—my very first children’s book—will be on bookshelves Feb. 16th.
My own little prayer right now is that children and their parents will respond to it the same way adult readers did to my first two books, A Travel Guide to Heaven, and Ten Prayers God Always Says Yes To. In those books, I tried to distill complex theological subjects and make them as simple and easy-to-understand as possible, without in any way compromising the theology. That’s basically the same thing I did in This Little Prayer of Mine. Adults who read this book might recognize the foundational tenets of faith, like placing trust in God in all things, being grateful for blessings, being generous to those who are in need. In simple language and rhyme, children can absorb those lessons too, while also learning how easy and natural prayer can be. After all, when you come down to it, prayer is just a simple, heartfelt conversation with God.
I believe the greatest gift you can give a child is the gift of prayer. As children grow up and learn about loss and grief, the ones who know they can turn to God in prayer at any time will always get throughthat suffering with their peace of mind and faith intact. It will not stop them from experiencing suffering of course, but it will give them hope. And that’s exactly what you give children when you teach them to pray early—the gift of hope.
For this book I teamed up with the incredible illustrator Mark Elliott, whose work can be seen in the “Princess Tales” series. I wanted art work that was a little bit reminiscent of Norman Rockwell. I think children will identify with the pictures—especially the funny ones. I’m very fortunate to have received some high-level praise for the book in advance of publication. For instance, the book has already been officially endorsed by the National Day of Prayer; and Bernice King, the daughter of Dr Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King, has said that the book is a springboard for helping children establish a relationship with God.