At dinner with sweet friends, we discussed a variety of topics while our children played, including car styles, the value of education, the job market, dog breeds, and eventually, Little Lamb Books.
I was asked why I was choosing to start this company with all the unknowns publishing as an industry is facing. And, as I thought about the conversation again later that night, I realized how good a question that is, and how important was my answer.
You see, everyone in the publishing industry says that the traditional ways of publishing are gone, the stability of the industry is absent, and the independent companies are folding or selling out every year because of the challenges they face. And, yet, adults and teens across the globe are proving naysayers wrong and still buying books, lot and lots of books, both in print and as eBooks.
For me, the answer is two-fold.
“I want to leave a legacy for my family, a legacy that encompasses our beliefs and our passions.”
First it’s personal. We have a relationship with Christ as believers. And, we love to read. I want to leave a legacy for my family, a legacy that encompasses our beliefs and our passions. We love to watch all children light up over a character and a story. I want to ensure that continues.
“Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord your God which He has given you.”
Second, it’s sharing Christ with others. I want to build a godly company that grants children around the world access to stories and characters that they can learn from, relate to, and return back to again and again, but with a Christian point of view. Books that fill the very real need for our children to hear about what faith is, how to be a believer in today’s society, how to live a Christian lifestyle, why it’s okay to fight for your beliefs and morals, and how to have a relationship with the one true God and the Bible. These are challenges that they, and we, face in our world today.
There are many great books for upper elementary, middle grade and young adult readers that don’t have a faith-base. Books that build creative settings, share strong characters, and yes, teach character traits through interesting plots. But, there are far too few books that tell our children it’s okay to be a Christian, that it’s okay to love the God who made them, and that offer biblical references for encouragement, strength, and support.
I have only come up with a handful of characters from some of my favorite books as a teen that had a faith foundation; only a few characters that I remember still to this day. Christy from the novel of the same name by Catherine Marshall, Lucy from Chronicles of Narnia, Jo March from Little Women, Laura Ingalls Wilder from Little House on the Prairie, and Anne from Anne of Green Gables. These are the only ones I come up with off the top of my head that really made an impact on me through my reading of the novels. Compared with the number of chapter books and novels currently available to young readers, this is too short a list of Christian characters and none that are current.
Little Lamb Books has been created with this in mind. We are striving to fill the void for parents and children who desire a good book that has a clean story, a Christian worldview, a strong lead character, and a creative and vibrant setting; to make a book parents can read to their children, a book teens can read with their parents, a book that will stand the test of time and travel with our readers into the future.
If now isn’t a good enough time for this, I’m not sure when the right time will ever be.