What is all this talk about a children’s book? Well, pull up a chair, pour yourself some coffee. You might want to read this first.
It was on the last day of November when I received an email from B&H Kids, a division of B&H Publishing. They had an author who was interested in my illustrations for her upcoming book, a storybook Bible for girls. That definitely peeked my interest, so I let him know this was a possibility I wanted to explore. I was itching to know who this author was, so I looked around their website looking for any hints: the only thing I found was an author’s profile and a press release mentioning her upcoming children’s book. I hoped it was her.
The very next day, another email popped into my inbox. I think I just about squealed when and I saw it was from Angie Smith. (You may already be familiar with her — she’s a vibrant, delightful woman who thirsts after God, is Todd Smith’s wife, and mother to Ellie, Abby, Kate, Audrey, and Charlotte. The Lord gave Audrey 2 1/2 precious hours with her family. This video will give you a good background of her story.) We started emailing back and forth, all the while talking with my family, praying, and wondering if this was something the Lord wanted us to do.
I was reading everything about Angie I could find, and I couldn’t wait to meet her. I wrote to Angie and the publisher that we’d be in their area in a couple weeks (even that was providential timing with a story behind it!) They set up a meeting for breakfast to talk about the storybook Bible in depth.
When we got to TN, we met Angie and Todd at a cozy little coffee shop where we both ordered a French press and talked about so much more than a book. We talked until the coffee shop had to close and we moved the conversation to her home. My heart is almost too full for words when I remember that night — it was so sweet to see that the Lord had clearly brought our families, kindred spirits, together. While we were together that evening, we also talked about her book “Audrey Bunny” which was already being illustrated. Nonetheless, I remember Todd saying that they were praying for a miracle that I would be able to illustrate it anyway.
After the meeting with the publisher (and another long, wonderful talk with just Angie and a heart-wrenching farewell), we headed home and I let Angie know that I would be joining the team for creating the storybook Bible! They are just dear people, desiring to honor the Lord with the books they produce, and so very gracious. (They’re a delight to work with.)
The publisher called and said he had an additional offer along with the storybook bible. Audrey Bunny. And you can imagine I said yes. : )
There’s so much more of the story I’d like to add, but for now . . . my heart is so full of thanks. Thanks to the Lord who knows and loves. To Angie, for inviting me to be a part of their family’s journey and Audrey’s story; I’m so honored. And my tremendous family (especially Emily Rose’s amazing skills) who have always been such help and encouragement.
I’ll write more later. : )
“Audrey Bunny” should be available in October