I know there are a lot of mamas who read Devotional Diva, and it seems like it can be quite a challenge sometimes to find appropriate books for Christian kids. I’d love to introduce you to a new series of Christian books for girls from Suzanne Stamboulieh.
Suzanne Stamboulieh is the author of the new Christian book series, Scarlett Gray. Each book in the series will be centered on a single Biblical scripture. “Scarlett Gray Joins the Parade” is the first of the series and reminds children that God has given them parents to guide them through life. Suzanne has a Masters degree in Marriage and Family Counseling. She previously worked as a therapist for her church. Suzanne lives in Mississippi with her husband Stephen, daughter Scarlett Gray, and their large, but lovable, German Shepherd.
Below is a short interview with Suzanne where she shares more about Scarlett Gray and providing good reading options for kids.
Could you tell me the basic story line of “Scarlett Gray Joins the Parade?”
“Scarlett Gray Joins the Parade” is a Christian short chapter book for young girls ages four to eight. It is centered on Ephesians 6:1 and reminds children that God has given them parents to guide them through life.
The story tells a tale of a young girl, Scarlett Gray, who can’t wait to attend this year’s Fourth of July Celebration with her parents and her best friend, Georgia. Scarlett Gray promises to follow her parents’ safety rules, but the excitement of the parade and her inattentiveness overcome her promise to obey the rules and she gets lost. She is not an actively defiant child, but her poor judgement in one instance illustrates how one bad decision can lead to another without you even knowing it. I think any child can relate to this!
How did you come up with the idea? Did you feel called to write?
As a homeschooling mother, I read countless books to our little girl. I purchase almost all of them at Goodwill for a quarter so it is nothing for me to purchase thirty at a time. I always try and scan the books as best as I can while I’m in the store (with a toddler in tow), but almost every time, when it came time to actually read them, I would realize that a good portion of them were not suitable material for our daughter. While many of these books were “best sellers” and very popular, they contained the words “dumb, “stupid,” “hate,” and other inappropriate words. As a mother, I know there will come a time when my child might say those things and need to be corrected for doing so, but I don’t want to feed it to her.
As a former therapist, I saw firsthand how outside influences greatly impact our minds, thoughts, beliefs and actions. Therefore, I think it is crucial that we as parents are vigilant in protecting our children. In today’s world, our children are inundated with negative messages and as Christian parents; I believe we have to work twice as hard to keep our children on track. I became very frustrated and disappointed with the material that was available for young readers. After expressing my frustration about the lack of Christian options for young readers to my husband, he strongly encouraged me to do something about it and write a book myself. And that is when the journey began.
I honestly don’t know if I have been “called” to write, but I will say that God has opened up doors that only He could, so I certainly feel that I am in His will and have His blessing. And although I wasn’t schooled in writing and it didn’t come naturally, I learned that with hard work and His help, it could be accomplished.
Why do you think it is important to provide faith-centered reading options for our kids?
I think our children are inundated with negative messages from every direction in life and they need to be reminded of what is right. That is why I believe it is important to provide faith-centered reading options for our kids so that they have positive, Christian role models to look up to. Of course, they might have Christian family members in their lives that greatly influence them, but so many children emulate characters they see on TV or in books that they read, so I thought what better way to reinforce those good character qualities that parents want to teach their children and ended up writing a Christian children’s book.
My aim is to inspire young readers to seek God in their daily lives, and to honor Him with their choices. It is my hope that parents can confidently share my books with their children, knowing the message meets their high standards.
I believe this can help open the dialogue between parents and children about what might be an awkward topic for some to approach. I think many parents could use it to help open that door for discussion. And as a parent, I find that when I’m reading to my child, I recall Bible stories that I have since forgotten so I’m able to learn along with my child and other parents might also enjoy that aspect of it, too.
What could be next for the Scarlett Gray books?
The next book in the Scarlett Gray series will be on wise spending. Scarlett Gray Publishing is dedicated to publishing children’s books centered on God’s word, so it will also be centered on a Bible verse. If all goes as planned, it will be available in the early spring.
You can follow Scarlett Gray Publishing, LLC on Pinterest to keep up to date on books that are released!
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