Why I Write Children’s Books by Shelly Roark

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.



Let’s play a game. I’ll write a phrase and you guess where it’s from . . .

“I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.” 

“A person’s a person no matter how small.” 

“Once there was a tree . . . and she loved a little boy.” 

“What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store? What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more?”

If the books featuring these memorable phrases immediately popped into your mind, you were probably read to as a child. Maybe you’ve read these very phrases to a child you love. Either way, they’ve stuck with you.

That’s the beauty of a children’s book—simplicity, memorability, connection.

As a professional writer for almost 30 years, I’ve penned a lot of words. I’ve read a lot of words. But the words that stick with me most to this day are the ones that first opened my eyes to the magic and wonder of a good story.

The Poky Little Puppy was as nosy as I was. The Little Engine that Could made me feel anything was possible. And the silly Cat in the Hat made me giggle.

I write children’s fiction because I want to connect with children in that special way . . . my prayer is to take it a step further.

My greatest desire is to use my passion for writing to share simple truths of faith with kiddos in a way that will stick with them. Jesus knew the power of a story to explain spiritual themes. His parables were not complicated, but they were memorable.

Jesus could have simply said, “Even though you may sin and turn away from me, I love you and rejoice when you come back to me.” Instead, he tells the story of the shepherd who leaves 99 other sheep to look for the lost one.

If that wasn’t enough, He connects emotionally with every parent who has ever read the story of The Prodigal Son.

Jesus gives us so many examples like these of how a simple story can explain eternal truth. I pray daily that God will use me to share stories that are simple, memorable and connect children to Him.  

Writing children’s fiction is a both a joy and a great responsibility. It’s not easy, but thanks to lessons I learned from one tough, determined little engine . . .

“I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.”


Gracie Lou Wants A Zoo and The Bubble Who Would Not POP! are available in hard cover and soft cover in our Little Lamb Books online shop.