Why I Write For Children by Jean Petersen

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! So, we’re sharing them on our blog this summer. If you missed any of the previous posts you can read them right here. We love the beauty of storytelling and seeing how books can impact our own lives and the lives of the children our writing impacts too. We hope you enjoy reading the authors’ personal reflections, and encourage you to get comfy, grab a glass of sweet tea, and be inspired.

As I listen to their giggles, while they’re sharing how they like to cook and what happens in their kitchen I can’t help but chuckle along with them. Their enthusiasm is contagious. This is only one reason I love to write for children. Their initial responses are fun loving, genuine and always creatively clever, but it’s the long-lasting reward that grabs my heart and is also truly inspiring.

While I read to a group of children’s it never ceases to amaze me at their inherent knowledge of what’s kind, helpful, and good.  When I read Kind Soup, the hands go up when I ask, “What’s something kind you could do for another?” Children love to share their hearts and thoughts as each page turns.  Our conversations spark ideas and are richly fulfilling. I love to see how these initial talks lead to their hearts action. The trickle affect of what they share and do, is genuine, real and pure because they’re tapping into their young hearts ‘want’ and that comes from the spirit of love.

Before I began creating Kind Soup, my heart wanted to write a message about kindness. I drafted and crafted, but it wasn’t coming together as I had hoped, until Galatians 4:22-23 began popping up everywhere, literally everywhere on my day calendars, on my phone, at church, in readings, on social media and even on infomercials in the middle of the night. I believe the good Lord shares is guidance in many ways, and for me it was extremely apparent that this scripture was were I was to focus this message. 

One cold afternoon I was making a giant pot of chicken soup, and as I dropped each ingredient into the water and watched them spread, bounce, float and mix together, each virtue, found in Galatians 5:23-23, began to dance through my thoughts. Suddenly, these ingredients became symbols of the Fruits of the Spirit’s virtues. The ingredients created the tangible connection to the virtues and came to symbolic life, and Kind Soup was created.

While its theme is centered on the Fruits of the Spirit, the other message I felt strongly about sharing was the act of going out into the community, or out of oneself, and giving back. The feeling received when a person shares, gives and pays it forward transcends us. The ripple affect, to another-even known or unknown, makes a difference whether we know it or not.

This ‘feeling’ I wanted the reader to take away is rooted in belief, and the Holy Spirit who fills and lives within each of us. Even at a young age, when sharing the acts of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self control, along with prayer, have the opportunity to be an inspiration to another and a messenger of the good Lord.

To write and share with children is a blessing and a gift, and my hope as a author is it through my work it leads the reader one step closer to their walk with Jesus.


Jean’s picture book Kind Soup is available in our online store in both hard cover and soft cover.