Why I Write Children’s Books by Janelle Higdon
We asked each of the 14 authors on our current roster a variation of the question, Why do you write children’s books? and we loved their answers. We think you will too! If you missed the previous posts you can read them right here. We will continue sharing the authors’ thoughts each week in the month of June on the blog. So, get comfy, grab a glass of sweet tea, and be inspired.
I have always loved the whimsy of children’s books. They sweep us into different worlds, capture our imagination, and move our emotions. As a kid, I was an avid reader. I was an under-the-covers, at-the-dinner-table, can’t-put-the-book-down reader. My love for words and my overactive imagination compel me not only to read, but also to write.
As a student, I opted for writing classes over literature classes when selecting my English credits. And in college I earned my bachelor’s degree in writing. Even my marketing career has a heavy emphasis in content creation. But it wasn’t until recently that inspiration took hold for my first complete children’s book manuscript.
I have struggled with body image anxiety and disordered eating for years. Thankfully, God has helped me to find my identity in Christ, and to find beauty in Jesus. It’s an ongoing battle, but I am holding tight to biblical truths (to read more on body image from a Christian perspective, explore my blog beautyinjesus.com). As I wrestled with the lies that I was believing about my body and weight, I realized that this was the story I needed to tell. This was the book I needed to write.
While I saw plenty of children’s books encouraging positive self-esteem, no one seemed to be pointing to where children should find their true identity and value—in Jesus. So I channeled my love for children’s books, my passion for writing, and my own body image issues into a picture book manuscript.
My first children’s book tells the story of a little girl named Fizzy and her first body image anxiety. Instead of insecurity regarding her tummy or thighs, like so many women declare, I chose a more child-appropriate insecurity for her to tackle–fantastically curly, bouncy hair.
My hope is that Fizzy’s story will lay a foundation of truth for children to understand body image and beauty from a Christian perspective. After believing lies about my own appearance for so many years, I pray that this book will help young girls especially to see that their value is not based on what they look like, how much they weigh, or any other aspect of their body. Rather, their identity is found in Christ. They are children of God, loved by Jesus, not defined by the world or its standards.
Now that I have written my first children’s book, I have officially caught the bug. I’m excited to grow my experience as an author and will continue to draw inspiration from my life to create new stories!
Fizzy Faces the Mirror will be Janelle’s debut picture book with Little Lamb Books. It is tentatively scheduled for late 2021.